Communication is not always easy, but it is the most important factor in any relationship. There are many ways of using communication effectively as a Project Manager. One could gather background knowledge of a project, use what has worked historically in other projects while analyzing the plan, use a communication plan to determine a timeline, rules, key players, and important messages, and finally use Agile as a means for managing project. Project managers need to monitor, plan, execute and initiate the entire project for it to be a success (Pozin, Nawi, Lee, Yaakob, & Hanafi, 2018). Project Managers use what is called a Project Management Communication Plan as a way of communicating a project’s progress and can use Agile Project Management to ensure the deliverables are completed by the deadlines.
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According to Ray, understanding the kind of culture that exists within an organization is important to how communication is handled. Additionally, being able to relay culturally relatable information back to the organization is imperative for a project manager to obtain buy-in from the organizational stakeholders and team members (Ray, 2019). Burke noted that no matter how busy a client is, they want your communication the way they like communication delivered to them (Burke, 2015). In order to find out how clients like to be communicated with, a project manager needs to ask.
Asking questions can induce the product vision that a project manager needs in order to come up with deliverables (i.e. objectives). These deliverables are what keep the project running, are clearly defined at the beginning and reinstated by the project manager throughout to life cycle of the project (Ray, 2019). When your deliverables have been identified, the next step in the plan of communication is to determine who the product owner and stakeholders are that will deliver effective communication so the message of the project is not lost (Ray, 2019). Often project managers are good communicators, but according to Mei Yuen Foong (n.d.), “two in five projects do not meet the project’s original goal or intent and one-half of those unsuccessful projects are related to ineffective communications (p. 2).” Pozin, Nawi, Lee, Yaakob, & Hanafi, (2018) pointed out that an effective communication process could increase team collaboration and integration (p. 1523).
Project managers should look at their plan’s strengths and weaknesses for chances of improvements and record these opportunities (Ray, 2019). Furthermore, looking back historically on successful projects may shed light or bring useful and resourceful information to the current project for the organization (Ray, 2019). Listening to the ideas of others is also effective when information is needed to understand what the client really wants and can be relevant to the objectives captured at the beginning of the project (Burke, 2015). Furthermore, delivering information is also important because everyone may not want the information delivered the same way (Ray, 2019).
Having guidelines to formulate a plan is important if you want to achieve the objectives you set out to perform (Ray, 2019). Guidelines also help with communicating how communication will be delivered; through email, meetings, feedback, timelines, and more (Ray, 2019). Consistent timeliness and a definitive process of communication is key to clarifying and updating others on the progress of the project and should be the responsibility of the communication owner, which is determined at the start of the project (Ray, 2019). Collaborating is essential to project work. Foong (n.d.) said it best when she stated, “The diversity within a project team which can be cultural, geographical, organizational, functional, age related, level of education and so on is indeed the biggest challenge for a project manager (p. 1).” Project managers will need to find a diverse group of people who specialize in different fields and can collaborate to deliver the objectives (Foong, n.d.).
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Agile provides the ability to iterate planning at the forefront of the project and then establishes self-managing teams who collaborate to perform the work needed to move forward in the project (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019). These consist of biweekly or monthly sprints where the team allots work, they can finish in the timeframe given and they work together to complete the work (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019). According to Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez (2019), having sprints allows for project teams to stay focused and deliver portions of the project to the stakeholders at the end of each sprint. This required a lot of communication and collaboration from the team. Agile also delivers multiple releases of the usable products in cycles instead of unloading an entirely new change altogether (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019). Not only does this improve innovation, but Agile methods help to mitigate risk, prevent losses, and ensures positive returns both clinically and financially (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019). Agile helps organizations manage change through innovation and evolvement, and improve collaboration, communication, and team dynamics (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019). Not only does Agile improve output, but the model delivers faster results, allows for immediate review of data that will improve the next released change (Pool, Upjohn, & Hernandez, 2019).
In summary, even though communication takes a lot of effort, it’s important for project managers to establish effective communication to achieve deliverables on a consistent schedule. Monitoring, planning, executing, and initiating a project is no small feat. It takes collaboration, innovation and evolvement to improve communication and team dynamics. Using the Project Management Communication Plan to determine a timeline, establish rules, include key players, and communicate important messages is just the start of how to run a successful project. Although Agile can assist with reconstructing the way an organization delivers the wants of its clients, effective communication starts with a plan and ends with product.
- Burke, E. (2015, July). Communications at the core. Of Counsel, 34(7), 6-9. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.links.franklin.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=83c41e6b-5b77-487a-b7ba-76d5479ce157%40sessionmgr101
- Foong, M. Y. (n.d.). Effective communication: A challenge to project managers. Retrieved from PMtimes: https://www.projecttimes.com/articles/effective-communication-a-challenge-to-project-managers.html
- Pool, E. T., Pool, E. T., Upjohn, D. P., & Hernandez, J. S. (2019, April). 'Agile' helping mayo improve its projects. Physician Leadership Journal, 6(2), 34-38. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/16149/OneDrive/Documents/Franklin%20University/ENG205-U1WW/Agile%20helping%20mayo%20improve%20its%20projects.pdf
- Pozin, M. A., Nawi, M. N., Lee, A., Yaakob, M., & Hanafi, M. H. (2018). Cause of communication failure in managing industrialized building system (IBS) projects: A perspective view from project managers. International Journal of Technology, 9(8), 1523-1532. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.links.franklin.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=7a90c226-9081-44a6-89a7-0fedb0c50af0%40pdc-v-sessmgr02
- Ray, S. (2019, December 20). What is a project management communication plan? Retrieved from ProjectManager: https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/project-management-communication-plan
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