Why is a communication management plan the key to successful development?
In an IT project team, co-workers must deal with intricate details, dependencies, decisions, and approvals, and it isn’t surprising that it’s impossible to get all these things done without a proper project communication plan in a project team. If everybody uses communication methods, it helps to avoid conflicts and confusion that may cause delays in the project management plan. Honest exchanges of opinion are crucial to build team-wide trust with effective project communication, so everyone works together from beginning to end.
Adjusting project communication because everybody is different and has different ways of communication preferences and styles. Those styles divide by their personality, background, and experiences. Moreover, different situations require different communication styles. How you communicate with your boss has different communication plan than talking with other project stakeholders.
What is Project Communication Management?
Project planning, implementing, monitoring, and regulating the information flow inside a plan template and between the project team and stakeholders are known as project communication management. Because it guarantees that everyone involved in the project is on the same page, understands the goals and project updates, and can cooperate to accomplish the communication action plan. Effective communication is essential for project success. Successful project management includes those factors to reach a management communication plan. Management communication plan may be tricky, but if you understand communications strategy and what to avoid in your project time, you should reach a successful communication plan.
However, despite its importance, communication management plans can sometimes encounter problems that can hinder the success of a project. Here are a few common issues that can arise with communication management plans:
- wrong stakeholder analysis: effective communication plan must consider all the stakeholders engagement plan. Failure to identify key stakeholder communication plan can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and conflicts.
- Poorly defined communication plan elements: Without clear communication objectives, the communication management plan may not effectively support the key project. Defining the desired management communication strategies, such as what information needs to be communicated,
- Ineffective communication channels: communication plan include proper channel which can lead to effective communication. Different stakeholders have different communication preferences, and a plan communication management should identify the most effective channels to reach each stakeholder.
- Insufficient monitoring and evaluation: Communication management plans need to be monitored and evaluated to ensure they are effective. Failing to monitor and evaluate the communication plan can result in missed opportunities, ineffective communication, and the inability to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Lack of flexibility: Project communication requires flexibility to accommodate changes in the project documents. If the communication plan isn’t detached and flexible, it may be unable to adjust to plan updates.
Who is the project manager, and how do they manage project communication?
The role of a project manager varies depending on the industry and organization they work for, but in general, they oversee the entire project life cycle, from initiation to closure.
The project manager's main responsibility is to ensure the project is finished effectively and meets the organization's goals with management plan updates. To guarantee that the project is finished on schedule and under budget, they oversee determining its scope, developing a project plan, and allocating resources. Taking care of quality project communication increases the chances of project deliverables. The project manager also controls client communication with project timelines throughout the project.
Why does communication not work in project management?
If management project communication isn’t practical, the whole project plan may fail because the quality of work may be worse with project status. And clients may not be served as well as they should be. Some issues might appeal to communication plan. Project communication management depends on communication tools, skills, and project planning.
- Miscommunication in the communication process
The project process is dynamic, and there are many changes and updates. So, it is necessary to inform all the co-workers involved in the project on time. Good communication management avoids errors, conflicts, and delays at work.
- A huge number of messages and emails in the project management plan
Project management communication can also be overwhelming. For some employees and project progress, there are too many notifications and if they want to concentrate on work, they ignore messages, and if there is important information, they will not see it. communication channel is very useful but, in some situations, it can be overused. Instead of writing an email in which we can hardly express emotions and convey the right tone, we should speak to someone or make a phone call. The project schedule should include a project kickoff meeting to get all necessary information about the client with whom we plan to work.
- Inaccurate process of delivering information
Every project has a communication plan template. The project manager and team members should remember to do individual communication plans involving everyone in the project, including project stakeholders. This can be an appropriate time to discuss issues, ask questions or do a demo. So, it can be confusing and demotivating if there are situations in which the meetings are canceled without any warning. We should remember that inconsistency causes us not to have clear and regular communication. Co-workers may feel confused and overwhelmed, and that leads to misunderstanding tasks and goals.
- Orders – not effective project management
In the workplace, meeting a project manager who doesn't listen to other employees is quite regular. He/she gives orders and expects everybody just to follow them. But as we know, communication is a dialogue – a talk between two people. Project managers shouldn’t be afraid of asking for advice from subordinates. It doesn’t mean that the supervisor loses authority. Co-workers can appreciate it and think that they are esteemed.
- Listen and compromise
Communication consists of what we say and what the other person delivers. If the second part fails, it is difficult to follow the conversation and make any progress in the project. The leaders should consider workers' thoughts and ideas on how to organize their work. For example, in IT projects, there is a practice that nobody wants to do deployment on Friday. Why? If something goes wrong, somebody needs to stay longer and fix it, and it can cause arguments because everybody wants to go home on a Friday afternoon.
How to improve communication in project management?
As I mentioned before, appropriate communication in teams helps to speed along processes and deliver better results in the project. There are some solutions to develop team skills communication.
- Use more verbal communication
The most prominent type of communication is verbal communication. It is the easiest and quickest way to exchange information in the team. Co-workers ensure each other that everybody knows their duties and responsibilities. However, increasingly people prefer to work remotely, so they need a tool to communicate quickly and comfortably. We already know that email doesn’t have these features. So, is there any device which can successfully replace the mailbox?
- Improve the way you speak
Ensuring that everybody in the project understands their task and duties is crucial. It is not enough to simply communicate with co-workers, but we also should know what everybody expects from us. To improve the quality of communication, it is necessary to develop the project's purpose and set project goals. Team members will know the project’s mission so they will better understand your statements. What is more, be realistic on time and scale. Deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. It is perhaps best to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the other way round.
- Schedule regular project team meeting
In most projects, there are dependencies between team members and their responsibilities. Project management involves scheduling meetings to discuss project status report and develop internal communication. Project managers create a space to discuss problems and solve them. A comprehensive communication plan establishes regular project meetings to make talking with co-workers a habit and avoid crowding them with too many issues.
- Ensure communication by giving feedback
Communication plan typically includes giving feedback that can be positive or constructive. Everybody likes to receive applause, and we are motivated if we know that our work and efforts are visible and appreciated. However, finding a balance between good and bad feedback is crucial. Project managers spend time giving feedback to develop a project management framework. They can better know their role and requirements; communication updates if they get constructive feedback.
- Create a communication schedule
There could be a situation in which an outside expert needs help. Leaders in a project should consider holding communication training sessions. It is a good solution to develop communication skills and improve communication between co-workers and clients. At Fingo, we have had a series of communication training sessions to work better between us and with our clients.
- Project communication matters
To sum up, communication is simply another skill to learn and develop. Communication makes us have better relationships with colleagues and clients. All these factors have an impact on better results at work and develop the process of the project.
Bad news can be good news, if it comes out early
Teach employees to express their anxiety; the sooner they do this, the better. Even bad news can be good if it appears early, and the team or company can react to an upcoming disaster fast enough. Does the button not work in the app? Let’s design that again and fix it. The app sends out an email as expected, but does it not really make sense in this scenario? Re-think email communication and do not send duplicated messages. Are we running low on memory on staging servers? Production is going to exceed those limits at the start, so let’s migrate to a bigger plan now. Do not kill people who bring bad news to the table, promote such behavior, as it can be a life saver.