If you are a PM, you know that communications is 90% of what you do every day. I can go step further and describe it as the blood of your everyday work and success. When it is that important, today’s challenge (with this blog post) is how to work on it, until it becomes part of every team member core skillset? To help you with all of this, lets visit the 5 practical tips for building great communication systems within your organisation:
Deploy a system that will generate project progress or status reports once a week to see if your project is on track. A step further is to automate the reports’ delivery i.e. inform the main stakeholders of the current situation, any deviations and how you are planning to bring things back on track.
I know that I’ve spoken about this already, but lets look at it from a different angle. You should have a process of holding daily or weekly meetings with your project team – even if its only for 20 to 30 min. Have a fixed agenda, or plan it in advance so everyone can make it a routine. This is an opportunity to communicate the status of the project, to allow everyone to take responsibility for the sub-goals/milestones and make them feel valued in the team. Go through what had been done and what should be done in the next week. Triggering sense of belonging and ownership among your team will clear the “pipes” of the communication channels between all of you.
I know one expert that coined the phrase “pig headed discipline”. What this phrase holds is the consistency and persistence that you should have as a PM. Record what decisions have been made and what tasks had been taken from the team. Then use that to track the progress. If you can’t track it, it did not happen. Make those minutes visible by sending them or posting them on a company dashboard. This will add value to the whole thing and you and your team members will be sensing strong urgency for taking action and getting things done.
NOTE: Be careful when meetings involve participation of external partners/clients. Then, the minutes of meeting will be considered as legal entity and used if certain disputes arise.
Rule of thumb is to keep email to a minimum. In this day and age, too much email makes communication less effective. Please not include in CC the whole team in every email and don’t use IMPORTANT as an email subject in every email. Train your people about proper and efficient email writing techniques. Of course, as a project manager, you should be copied in on team members emails – to stay informed of what is going on.
Living in 2014, in the most technologically enhanced day and age, the online collaboration with your team is highly recommended. I am pretty sure that you are aware for the power that today’s software solutions have, when it comes to sharing files, working environments and remote communication.
To make your project communication and collaboration smooth and effortless, we’ve rounded up a few articles to help you improve what you have with your team. Here’s a great guide for the project manager on the do’s and dont’s in communication. Here’s also a few valuable notes on the modern professional communication routines you should start using in project management.