The importance of project communication in project management can never be overemphasized. A successful project requires clear and consistent communication among team members, stakeholders, and other interested parties. It plays an important role in every aspect of the process: from defining the scope to managing stakeholder expectations to meeting deadlines.
This article will explore the importance of project communication in project management, and explain why it is such a crucial component of a successful project.
What is project communication and why is it important?
It might seem obvious, but communication is essential to project management. It enables the project manager and other stakeholders to define objectives and goals, communicate progress, address potential problems or challenges, and make changes as needed.
Communication can be verbal (for example one-on-one meetings between managers and team members), written (such as reports and memos), and visual (graphs and charts).
Good communication in project management is done via a range of channels. This includes face-to-face conversation, conference calls, video conferencing, email exchanges, telephone conferences, instant messaging
In essence, the primary goal of effective project communication is to build consensus among stakeholders. This can be what needs to be done, how it should be done, who is responsible for doing it, and how the results will be measured.
How much communication should you do?
Good communication is not about doing it for the sake of doing it. Instead, you must communicate in a balanced and appropriate manner. You also need to consider who your audience is and what they want or need to know.
The important thing is to make sure that all project participants (team members, stakeholders, etc.) understand their roles and responsibilities, and what they can do to make the project a success.
The common formula for this;
Number of Communication needed= n(n-1)/2
Here, “n” is the number of team members.
So, if you’ve 6 teams members, then 6(6-1)/2. This means you need to communicate at least 15 times. It will vary from project to project and it will depend on the complexity of your projects.
What should you communicate?
Effective project communication entails sharing information about how the project is going. This also includes updates on resources, changes in deadlines, and other relevant data. The goal is to give stakeholders a clear idea of what needs to be done.
The more organized your project, the better it will work. You also need to share details including how the project is going, any problems to be resolved, and other relevant data. For a successful project, sharing information with all stakeholders should occur routinely and involve both good news and bad news.
The more well-informed your stakeholders are about what’s going on in their portion of the project. The less likely it is that they’ll contact you with problems. The more organized your project, the better it will work.
The project communication process:
To ensure that all project participants are kept informed about the project. There’s a defined process of communication that should be followed.
Before planning your project, you should identify the individuals and groups that will be affected by it. It’s also necessary to determine what kind of information they need, how often it is needed, and in what format.
Once you’ve done this, it is time to create a communication plan which is basically all about identifying who needs to know what, when they need to know it, how they will be told, and where. This plan should include details on the channels through which information will be communicated as well as their frequency.
The communication process doesn’t end with planning. Instead, it should be an ongoing process throughout the life of the project.
The do phase involves the day-to-day process of sharing information with team members and other stakeholders. This usually involves updates on tasks, milestones, changes, risks, issues that need to be addressed, and other forms of relevant data.
Don’t forget to keep your communication channels open at all times (e.g., meetings). Industry-specific communication channels are also important, e.g., LinkedIn for professionals, Facebook groups for students
After you’ve finished communicating with everyone about the project, it’s time to monitor what is being communicated.
During this phase, it’s useful to have a mechanism in place which will allow you to measure how well your communication plan is working. It can help you assess whether the messages are getting through and if the right individuals are receiving them.
Since this phase involves continuous monitoring of progress, it’s also necessary to identify any issues that need to be addressed immediately.
Once the project is complete, it’s time to review your communication plan to ensure that it meets your expectations.
During this phase, you should also think about how you can improve future projects. For example, if your communication system doesn’t work well or if team members aren’t delivering the right information, it might be time for an overhaul.
Benefits of having effective Project communication:
There are many benefits associated with effective communication. In fact, for a project to be successful, it must have good communication.
More informed team members: The more well-informed your stakeholders are about what’s going on in their portion of the project, the less likely it is that they’ll contact you with problems. As a result, this will improve your ability to handle problems.
Less stress: If you know what needs to be done and why it will eliminate unnecessary stress and help you become more focused on the task at hand.
Increased productivity: By keeping team members informed about what they can do to contribute to the project, you’ll be able to boost their productivity. As a result, the whole team will work more effectively together.
Project management requires effective communication among all of its stakeholders in order for a project to be successful. To ensure that your communication is as effective as possible, you need to create a good plan and stick with it throughout the life of the project.
When monitoring your progress, it’s important to look for areas where you can improve. After a project is complete, it’s a good idea to reassess your plan and how effective it was.