Project communication management (PCM) is a system designed to optimise and streamline information flow among team members, stakeholders, suppliers, and any other parties involved in project execution. This prevents uncoordinated or redundant efforts, eliminates information bottlenecks, and ensures everyone has access to the information they need at the right time for optimal project outcomes. Fortunately, there are many tools and techniques available to help streamline your project communications. Here’s a look at some of the most common project communication management strategies.
Communication Strategies #
As you begin to improve project communication, it’s important to use the right communication channels. This will help keep all team members informed while allowing each person to focus on the areas where they can provide the most value. By far, the most common platform for project communication is email. While email is easy to use, it’s also incredibly inefficient for sharing large amounts of project-related information. Project communication should never be limited to email alone. Instead, use multiple communication channels, such as: –
Face-to-face communication: While not always possible, face-to-face communication provides the greatest level of understanding. When possible, hold project meetings in-person so you can involve all stakeholders and ensure the meeting is productive and efficient.
Video conferencing: Video conferencing is an excellent choice for distance collaboration. Tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts will allow you to connect with team members no matter where they’re located.
Collaboration platforms: Collaboration platforms, such as SharePoint, provide a central location for all project documents. If you need to share large amounts of data, you can easily create a document or database on the platform and invite team members to view or modify it.
Project management software: Project management software is used to manage the entire life cycle of a project. These tools allow you to create tasks and assign them to team members, assign due dates, and track project progress. They also allow you to communicate effectively with other team members by creating messages, uploading files, and sharing tasks.
Weekly/Daily Stand-up Meetings #
One of the most important project communication strategies is holding regular stand-up meetings. These short, daily meetings are designed to keep everyone up-to-date on project progress and any roadblocks that may have cropped up. While each project will have its own communication needs and strategies, generally, project stakeholders, team members, and any other parties involved in project execution should meet and communicate the following:
What work was accomplished since the last meeting: This will allow the group to track project progress, identify where work is falling behind, and create action items to help remedy the situation.
What work will be accomplished before the next meeting: This will allow team members to plan their day, prioritise their tasks, and help avoid unplanned interruptions.
Any roadblocks or problems that have arisen: This will help team members know when to send extra attention to the problem and when they’ll need assistance.
Any changes in schedule, budget, or other project factors: This will allow all stakeholders to stay informed and make adjustments, if necessary.
Task Management Strategies #
Task management is an important area of project communication. It’s during task management that project team members will create work breakdown structures, assign tasks to themselves, and assign tasks to other team members. While there are many ways to manage tasks, generally, you’ll want to use a tool that has these features: –
Task assignments: The ability to assign tasks to team members and allow them to accept or decline the task. This will allow you to track who is working on what, help prevent unplanned interruptions or bottlenecks, and keep tasks on track towards completion.
Task due dates: The ability to assign due dates to tasks and track their progress towards completion. This will allow you to manage project tasks by date and ensure that work is completed on time.
Task progress: The ability to track task progress to stay informed about how individual tasks are progressing towards completion. This will allow you to manage task progress and ensure that each project task reaches completion successfully.
Task priority: The ability to assign task priorities to identify which tasks are most important and help you stay informed when tasks are falling behind. This will allow you to prioritise your work based on the project’s needs and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Information Sharing Strategies #
As you collect and organise project data, you’ll need to decide how to share that information. There are many ways to share data, and you should use the method that provides the best results for your project. By far, the most common way of sharing project information is through a project management or task management tool like Microsoft Project, Gantt Chart, or Teamwork. These tools allow you to easily create project schedules, create tasks, assign team members to those tasks, and share that data with other stakeholders. These tools will also help you report on project data and provide valuable insights that can help improve project outcomes in the future.
Tracking and Reporting Strategies #
As you track project progress and share project data, you’ll want to keep track of the information. You may want to refer back to it in the future or share it with other parties involved in the project. For example, if you’re managing a project with a client, you may want to report on project progress at regular intervals. These progress reports are often used to keep clients informed about project status and help them understand how their investment is being used. These tracking strategies can also be used to identify areas where project communication needs to be improved. For example, you may notice that project tasks are taking longer than expected. This could indicate that a team member is overworked or not efficient enough. You might be able to identify the problem by reviewing project task data and examining a team member’s workload.
Project communication management is a critical aspect of project management. It will help your team collaborate more effectively and keep stakeholders informed on project status. There are many strategies you can use to optimise your project communication. Start by using the right communication channels and holding regular meetings. Then, you can use task management software to track project progress and share data with other project stakeholders.