EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND IT'S EFFECTS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Effective Communication and Its Effect in Project Management
The sharing of knowledge through effective communication leads to the enhancement
of awareness and involvement of staff in a project, reduces misunderstandings and
promotes harmony which eventually will result to the success of the project. At the
beginning of a project, a proper communication plan needs to be in place. Such a plan
should contain all the mechanics of communications and should be made known to
and understood by all personnel in a project. Status reports are also in order to advise
all personnel on the progress of a project. Internal memorandums and meetings must
also be considered to bring everybody to a common level of awareness on the project.
The project manager has to ensure clear and effective communication with the project
team, people working on various work streams of the project, and all stakeholders in the
project, which will likely be represented in the Project Board. PRINCE2 is the standard
communication protocol for managing projects which involves the project manager
forming a communication plan which includes the following:
Highlight reports – regular progress reports to the project board on the project as per
the allotted schedule and notes on any risks or issues.
Exception reports – detailed reports on any substantial matters not according to plan.
Work package instructions – instructions on what needs to be achieved and by when to
parties carrying out work as part of the project.
Work stream reports – up-date reports by work stream managers to the project manager.
Meetings – scheduled meetings with a set agenda by the project manager with project
participants at all levels.
The project manager should ensure that communication is a two-way street with traffic
flowing freely in both directions. Personal contact helps in building relationships with all
project participants, with listening and observing of non-verbal cues also as important as
verbal communications. Managing by walking about and engaging in informal face-to-
face conversations is the best way to learn about possible problems. If project
participants are not co-located, video conferencing followed by phone calls offer good
communication lines. Effective communications can help rescue a project when it runs
The ability to talk is not the sole basis for effective communication. Project managers
wear many hats and many have made their project teams accomplish the desired
objectives without using oratorical powers. In order to motivate a team and make them
perform without complaint a project manager should consider the following points:
Talk in Simple Language – Simple and clear words that everybody in a group can
understand should be used in communication.
Be Clear About the Objectives – The duties of everyone and their expected
performances must be declared clearly.
Run an Organized Business Meeting – Questions on communicated matters must be
anticipated and answers must be prepared before the meeting.
Progress Review – Meetings must be held wherein each member of the project can
appraise other members on their assignments’ progress, but if email or phone
messages will suffice for updating on changes, this can also be employed.
Active Listening – The project manager must have an open mind on the suggestions
and ideas of members and listen without interruption when such are presented to
The Use of Patience – The project manager must be patient and cool in head when
things do not work out as expected, focus on the overall objective and enjoin everyone
to set aside differences to attain their goal, but must also be ready to accept failure
should the project fail and not lay blame on anyone.
The project manager must also consider cultural differences when communicating with
separately located team members because such differences can alter symbols and
meanings that may result in misunderstandings. He/she must recognize the various
ways in which contents of phone calls, e-mails and voice mail can be comprehended.
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 Mario Carini, “Effective Communication for Project Managers”, Helium, 26 October 2010, <http://www.helium.com/items/1994563-effective-communication-project-managers-simple-language-organized-agenda-business-meetings> [accessed 29 June 2011]
 Ginger Levin and Parviz F. Rad, “Requirements for Effective Project Communications: Differences and
Similarities in Virtual and Traditional Project Environments”, allPM.com, 23 November 2004, <http://www.allpm.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1260>
[accessed 29 June 2011]
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