If you are planning to start a project, or have already started one, this article can help you. In this guide we will explore the importance of effective communication management for the growth and success of your project and how to avoid risks.
We will also look at the steps to follow to reduce communication errors in our projects, required skills and key tools that can facilitate your work.
The most important thing to know
- Most project failures are due to communication problems.
- The importance of good communication has become a necessary aspect to achieve project success.
- Through communication management, project organization is established.
What you need to know about project communication management
The importance of good communication has become a necessary aspect to achieve success in projects and in the organization of companies or organizations. That is why, in this article we will present everything you should know about how a correct communication management can boost your project.
What is communication management for projects?
When starting a project we must take into account a very important factor: communication. Probably, you have noticed that many projects have been truncated by the development of a not so effective communication. This is where communication management has its role to play, but what is it?
Broadly speaking, we can define project communication management as the fundamental process of ensuring that the collection, creation, distribution, storage, and final disposition of project information are adequate. That is to say, that it resembles that which it is desired to communicate within a company, organization or other.
What is the purpose of communication management for projects?
Communication management is extremely useful for those who are involved in the development of a project, since those who work in these projects seek to consolidate an environment that is crucial for its success.
Through communication management, a project organization is established: the objectives and the means to achieve them can be worked out. As well as the final disposition of the information to avoid communication problems that imply a waste of time and a decrease in the value of the project.
From start to finish, communication must be present in the projects to achieve the effectiveness that consolidates links between the different people involved, connecting different socio-cultural environments. Also, different experiences, perspectives and interests in the execution or outcome of the project.
Advantages of managing communication in your project
Below we have selected and developed three main advantages when it comes to managing communication in a project
Effective communication management can be achieved through proper planning. Those involved in project development will obtain adequate information for the development of the project to avoid margins of error.
As mentioned above, adequate information avoids margins of error in projects and ensures greater transparency. However, many times when this does not occur, those involved in projects are subjected to work on the basis of assumptions and to widen the margins of error, as well as to waste time and to a decrease in the value of the project.
Project planning implies an organized structuring of actions to then carry out a correct management of their communication and reduce risks. Below, we will establish which are the most common risks of not managing communication in your projects.
What are the risks of not managing communication for your project?
The risks of not managing communication for your project are several, which is why we insist on carrying out a previous planning to reverse it. Many times random decisions and lack of commitment put projects at risk, and in this sense it is best to involve all parties to successfully implement a project.
Also, another common risk is the cost of error reversal and thus a greater waste of time, since it will generate significant delays in the project.
What are the steps to follow for project communication management?
Most project failures are due to communication problems, that is why a correct and effective project communication management ensures that this does not happen. Below, we share with you a series of steps to follow to reduce margins of error in the communication of your project.
Plan the management of project communications
As we mentioned at the beginning, planning is essential when leading or developing a project, which is why it is the first step to know how communication will be managed in your project and among all those involved in it.
When planning, it is important to make sure that certain factors that make up communication are addressed in a plan. These are:
- Type of communication
- Sender or owner: includes the person who builds the communicational content.
- Receiver: includes the project members and all parties interested in the project.
- Objective: it has to do with the purpose of the project.
- Communicational content and its channel: includes the construction of messages for each type of communication, and the channel through which the message is distributed. It must be detailed in order to establish what will be sent, to whom, how, when and who will be involved.
- Frequency: defines the time interval of a task in a project.
Manage project communications
Once the plan has been planned and elaborated, the task of correctly managing the project’s communication arrives. This activity requires that the plan must first be reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in the project to the parties involved.
The project communication manager must compile and analyze the information obtained, draft messages for subsequent communication and dissemination, as well as store communication reports, and delete obsolete or inappropriate communication messages for the project.
Overseeing project communications
This process involves controlling the communication content, whether it was sent, received and understood by those involved in the project. In other words, a thorough control of communications is carried out during its entire life cycle, from beginning to end.
Communication management tools for projects
There are numerous communication management tools that can be used to work collaboratively and facilitate project development. However, when developing your project it is essential to first back it up with a communication strategy and a communication plan, as communication management tools are only a complement to facilitate our project.
Communication management tools offer simple and intuitive templates to use in which everyone involved in the project can participate, allowing file sharing, commenting on documents and developing tasks. They also allow the use of calendars for planning, greatly facilitating communication.
What skills are required for effective project communication management?
To achieve communication effectiveness in our project we must have the following skills:
- Mastery of simple, easy to understand communication.
- Active listening skills.
- Asking questions and probing for more information.
- Ability to establish and manage expectations.
- Ability to motivate those involved in the project to commit.
- Conflict resolution skills.
Example of communication management for projects
In the following table we will establish an example guide of how we can start building a template to manage your project communication. Remember that this is just an example, there are multiple ways to do it.
|Type of communication||Recipient||Objective||Communication content||Channel||Frequency||Owner|
|Project kick-off meeting.||Project members – Stakeholders.||Introduce the project and review project objectives||Tasks and management approach will be organized.||Face-to-face.||One time.||Project communication manager.|
As we expressed at the beginning of this article, communication is the fundamental factor when undertaking a project of any kind. The importance of a correct management of the communication will mark the impulse and the success of your project.
Now that you have the information and tools you need, make your project the most collaborative and productive, and the one with the least margin for error.
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