Every project requires coordination and active communication between the team members. A project where the team cooperates and works together has a higher chance of success than a project where the team communication breaks down for any reason.
It is the project manager’s responsibility to ensure smooth communication between the team. The manager should create proper reporting channels and provide tools to people that allow quicker and easier communication. The manager must also provide a direction and resolve miscommunications in the group.
In this blog post, we look at 5 ways for improving communication on a project.
Develop a Plan of Action
The main responsibility of a project manager is to develop a roadmap or plan of action for the team. The ultimate objective of the project and completion at each stage must be clearly communicated to all stakeholders.
The manager must also outline the roles and responsibility of each team member and determine how they should interact with one another.
When individual team members are aware of their responsibilities and understand how they affect the work of others, they are more likely to cooperate and produce better results as a whole.
Keep Project Teams Manageable
Some project experts suggest keeping the number of team members small because that makes it easier to keep track of everything. We suggest keeping the total number of people on the project manageable.
Every person has a different threshold for how many people they can keep track of actively. Some people are more social and capable of engaging with dozens of people daily to manage them effectively. Others can get overwhelmed with meeting too many interactions and prefer a smaller team.
The right number of people to have on your project depends on your social and communication skills. If the number gets higher than you can manage, then delegation tasks; put some people in charge of certain activities and give them the authority to lead others.
Encourage Two-Way Communications
Two-way communications are important in dynamic projects where significant changes can alter the project’s requirements. Some project managers tend to send out instructions to their subordinates without getting input on the likelihood of successfully completing the activity.
To build two-way communication channels, you should have the ability to listen and consider input from team members before deciding on matters. You must also help develop this ability in other people who are working on the project. Foster a culture where people are more receptive to listening to ideas from other people. Not only will this enhance group communication, it will also improve the project’s productivity as a whole.
Use Advanced Technology
Modern technology has made it much easier for people to communicate instantly. Mobile devices and instant messenger apps allow users to quickly share information in a group.
As the project manager, you can create a group that allows members to keep each other informed about the progress on various group activities. This can be particularly useful when the group members’ activities are highly interdependent and for projects that must be completed within a very short period e.g. within a day or two.
Set the Right Frequency of Communication
How often the team members communicate with one another can also improve project quality and time required for completion. When there is regular communication between the project team everyone stays up to date and knows what is required of them.
One way to do this is by holding daily meetings with the team at the start of the day and reviewing progress. To get the most out of these meetings, make sure that there is an agenda and all the team members come prepared.
There is also another end of the spectrum where the project can get derailed due to over communication between team members. If you feel that subordinates are spending too much time communicating with each other, to the detriment of the project then be prepared to step in and set things back on track.
Engage the Project Stakeholders
The communication for your project should include all the stakeholders and not just consist of the team that you are directly working with. You must also consider the client or higher management that you will be reporting to about how the project is coming along.
Keep the clients engaged at every stage of completion. As your project progresses from one phase to the next inform your client and get their feedback about work quality and upkeep with the schedule.
Resolve Differences and Miscommunications
There will be occasions when there will be a conflict between different team members. This happens when the project roles are unclear or team members interact too much, leading to a mismatch of personalities.
As the project manager, you should be ready to step in at any time and take control of interaction to resolve differences between project members. One way to resolve conflict might be to reassign some of the staff or create some distance in communication between the two conflicting members. Another thing you can do is to try and resolve the conflict by holding a meeting with the two individuals.
Make Communication More Interesting
No one likes to read boring reports or lengthy instruction manuals. You can improve communication by using interesting stories and practical examples to explain activities and tasks for the project. Charts and illustrations are helpful as they help people visualize ideas and make sense of things much more quickly.
You can also use numbers to illustrate a point. People who are good with numbers find it much easier to understand instructions when you make comparisons and show them project objectives in dollar terms.
Improvements in communication can be very effective in delivering high-quality projects on time. We hope these strategies will help you in identifying areas for improvement in your project.
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