Project Communication Management
90% of Project Management time is spent on communication. The effective communication creates a bridge between the team members, who has different backgrounds. But, the lack of effective communication create failures in projects.
Dimensions of Communication
There are number of communication methods. We use internal, external, formal and informal communication methods in projects.
Internal – Discussion with group members.
External – Communication with clients
Formal – Discussions using Letters and emails
Informal – Discussion in a restaurant
Project Management Communication Skills
Several communication skills are required for effective communication management. The following figure shows the required skills.
Project Manager must listen to team members, clients, company managers and external stakeholders. However, some people like to listen to the others and some don’t like. Listening improve your knowledge on others’ opinions towards the project. It also suggest alternative methods of completing the works.
Questioning is also important to identify situation or works correctly. As a project manager, you are required to make quick decision. Having correct understanding on problem improve the decision making power. Therefore, if you want to become a good project manager, you have to ask questions again and again.
Project Managers usually teach his/her team members. For example, construction project managers teach technical lessons to their juniors. If you are good in teaching, you have more chance to become a good project manager.
- Fact – Finding
Project stakeholders have different problems. They relate to finance, marketing, law or technical. In the process of communication, some stakeholders may ask questions regarding the project. Fact finding helps to understand the present condition about the project and answer the stakeholders problems. You can have discussion, refer meeting minutes, unofficial discussions and gatherings to find facts.
- Setting Expectation
Setting Expectation is also a key skill in communication management. You can discuss the project goals and scope with the team. If you have a good communication system, all the people get the idea of project goals, progress monitoring procedure and expected progress at different time frames.
Project Managers usually motivate their team members. People have different problems. There may be financial issues. These problems reduce the productivity of the team members. This also improve the productivity of the team members.
Some clients request facilities, which cannot fulfill with their budgets. Some workers request high salaries and other facilities. Negotiating means, Balancing both clients and workers within the budget. Negotiating helps you to save more money.
- Resolving Conflicts
Plan Communications Management
Project team require to communicate with other project members, project managers, stakeholders, customer, sponsor and functional managers. The following figure shows the communication links.
Communication Requirement Analysis
Communication requirement analysis is required before developing communication management plan. You can identify the reasons for communication, target person and communication method here.
Usually initial meeting is organized with all the stakeholders. The main purpose of this meeting is gathering information for Initiation plans. Most project managers organize this event as a physical meeting.
Communication Management Plan – Output
The following figure shows the output of communication management plan. It contains information related to communication under the headings of What, Whom, Why, When and How.
Project Team prepare the Communication Management plan at the initial stage. Usually, project team follows this plan, because it track all the information.
Project team must get right information, in the right way, to the right person at the right time. Failure of implementing communication management plan, cause some changes in flow of information.