Effective and efficient communication is the prerequisite for success in the modern business world, as well as the ultimate success of every project, no matter if it involves a single team or cross-departmental collaboration. Every project manager should understand the importance of communicating ideas, plans, facts, and other project-related information in a seamless way if they are to reach their goals quickly while keeping all stakeholders satisfied throughout.
This is where the project management communication plan becomes an indispensable tool in your struggle to conduct a successful project from start to finish. Let’s take a look at the five tips that will help you create a seamless communication plan for your next project.
Set your goals just right
Every project needs to have a goal or a set of goals. Your goals for this particular project are the foundation on top of which you will build strategies along with their supporting tactics that will transform plans and ideas into reality. Much like you would define a goal for every aspect of your project, you should also define your goals regarding your communication plan.
Typically, these goals would be to run a smooth project from inception to finalization, to boost productivity along the way, and of course, to keep all stakeholders such as clients and partners in the know at all times. Another goal that will help your cause would be to communicate the benefits of the project to all interested parties, effectively keeping morale high in your team while reassuring the clients of their investment.
Decide on the best format
Choosing your preferred format is another important step towards an organized, productive process. You need to use a platform that will allow all interested parties to monitor the project, comment on every issue, and give constructive feedback that will keep the project moving forwards at all times. Usually, this platform would be a shared document or a spreadsheet.
You can use online documents such as Google Docs to create a simple project communication plan where people can regularly obtain new information, and team members can contribute to the project itself. Keep in mind that online sharing platforms usually work best for this purpose, as they eliminate the need to send out countless emails and actually keep the entire team involved in the project at all times. Most importantly, they allow you to seamlessly integrate visual support.
Include visual communication
One of the most important skills every project manager needs to master is the use of visual information during the process, and how visuals can help the team do a better job while putting the entire project into a comprehensible perspective. Remember, including progress screenshots and photos, 3D visuals and other aids can help you bring the project to life.
You can do this seamlessly by sharing photos using iCloud photo sharing if your company is using Apple products, which is also an excellent way for the iPhone users in your team to upload project images quickly and get the visuals in front of the eager eyes of your clients. More importantly for your entire communication plan, this is an excellent way to improve communication among your departments and effectively eliminate any points of misunderstanding between your employees.
Define the essential methods of communication
Visuals will help you enrich the entire experience, but you also need to communicate with all of the interested parties efficiently throughout the day, so there is a need to find a communication method that will get your message in front of the right person, at exactly the right time. With that in mind, you will need to introduce a method of communication that will appeal to all stakeholders in the project.
Instead of demanding that everyone checks their email throughout the day, a more efficient solution would be to introduce a project management tool, the likes of Slack for example, that will allow everyone to communicate and exchange ideas in real time. An effective way to make sure everyone is constantly in the know would be to use more than one method, such a weekly email combined with a real-time chat program.
Structure your communication timetable
Speaking of weekly emails and real-time communication, it’s also important to structure your communication timetable in order to avoid clutter and keep the information flowing seamlessly. If you send out email after email for every little update, for example, you can rest assured that your team members will start missing them or even ignore them altogether.
To avoid a communications disaster, be sure to organize your timetable. Send out weekly email progress reports with all of the information necessary for your team members to pick up after the weekend. Include all stakeholders in this email, but leave them out of the daily progress reports you’re sending out to your team members at the end of each work day – they needn’t be bothered with the backend details.
A project management communication plan is the foundation of a successful project, no matter the scope of work, or the number of people involved. Be sure to implement these tips into your next project in order to improve productivity and reach your goals in an efficient and effective way.