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The Communication Imperative Essay

970 words - 4 pages

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The Communication Imperative

Project managers must create an environment in which team members understand that communication is part of their job description. They should be comfortable sharing bad as well as good news, and encouraged to offer solutions. It all starts with upholding your end of the bargain. You know the old saying: the three most important factors in buying or selling real estate are “location, location, location.” The key to project management success is communication, communication and communication. A project brings together all the resources of the project team. For the project to succeed, the team members must deliver on their pieces of the project. ...view middle of the document...

There are several things you can do at the beginning of the project or kickoff that will help create the right environment for project management success. First, clearly define the communication plan. Define formal aspects such as weekly status meetings, reporting tools, and metrics to be captured and reported. However, the plan should not be restricted to formal reporting. Remind team members that there will be a level of informal communication, too, such as phone calls, e-mails, or IMs. This prepares people for how engaged and focused they will need to be.

Next, gather agreement on the communication plan and share information. Give people a chance to give their input and get comfortable with the plan. Also, inform people as much as possible on what the project is about, your expectations, timeframes, challenges and rewards. Tell them what they’re doing but also why they are doing it. Give them as much information as you can. By doing this, you are giving them context as to where their pieces fit in the total project. Setting standards for how team members should communicate and giving them information about the project creates an environment where team members know that will be held accountable for communicating with each other and you, the project leader. Team members must also understand that the overarching purpose of communicating is to provide information needed to make good decisions — not just to say that everything is fine and move on. People need to feel comfortable giving accurate information, good or bad. You don’t want people to appease you; you need them to tell you exactly what is going on so that you can plan and adjust. Encourage people to come forth with anything that they think might become a future issue. However, you don’t want to...

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