In this article, I am interested to focus on “Effective Communication is the Key of Successful Project Management” that will probably guide you to find right information in right format and at right place and gradually explore how it could be effectively incorporate in a system.

In today’s business environment, when innovation and creativity is on peak. Project management is increasingly taking market importance and mostly targets have been achieved through programs and projects. In order to meet project challenges, each and every member of project must coordinate their efforts, share their ideas, and discuss their insights. Effective communication is the most paramount part during the life cycle of project success and failure. During my experience in project management environment, I realized so many times inadequate information or lack of team indulgence may create a bad impact on project environment and on associated stakeholders to achieve milestones.

Solid communication starts from concrete planning
I want to revise my above statement that effective communication is important during each and every phase of project life cycle specifically during initiation/planning phase and it has been acknowledged as one of the most important knowledge area by Project Management Institute (PMI). According to Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), communication planning involves “Determining the information and communications needs of the stakeholders: who needs what information, when will they need it, and how will it be given to them.” During the initiation/planning phase, the focus should be on concrete project communication planning.
During the life cycle of communication planning Project manager can avail historic information, procedures, guidelines etc and tailor them according to desire requirements. All necessary roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined like who should communicate, what, when, where and how to communicate. Several people involves in project environment in different roles to achieve milestones. Every stakeholder has a unique identity to perform their tasks like Project Sponsor, Project Manager, team members and Customers etc.

Deliver concise information to each and every stakeholder to get connected
Communication is an iterative process that needs to distribute in a concise manner. In a matrix organization, Project managers have a big role to run the project toward success and to get success the compulsory ingredients is to effectively communicate with team members not only about tasks and target achievements but also stimulate for motivation. Business sponsor is mainly the financer and resource of the project. PM should need to give quality time to them to know about their requirements and preferences. If there is any misunderstanding or lack of information then red flag condition may arise so keep involve with your sponsor, listen them attentively and respond according to their requirements to achieve customer trust, reliability and satisfaction. In fact, Project management is child category of Portfolio and program management office. In this domain, the Project manager has responsibility to showcase opportunities for continuous process improvements and reporting of project artifacts.

Modes of communication channels
From the inception of any project, different modes of communication used to inform about projects ongoing information. Most reliable criteria is to share strategic and confidential information through meetings or face to face. Electronic communication cannot be laid down. Internet, Intranet, Extranet, Project management information systems (PMIS), tools and applications, e-mails, internal networks, phones, chat/Video services and many more are considered as big resource to keep track of project information.
The choice of communication tools depend upon corporate Information system (IS) strategy and budget allocations. If your organization is working in a cloud computing environment then communication will be more comprehensive and concise. There will be less chance of redundancy or dual channels. In the light of commercial analysis variety of Project management tools available in the market that can vary in terms of capability and cost.

According to my opinion, the centralize agenda for project communication works well. It kept everybody engaged and well informed about project roll out, progress reporting and other artifacts. The ideology behind is to keep everything dynamic so users don’t need to suffer with irrelevant, unauthentic and redundant information. A project dashboard implementation is the most common practice to build dynamic environment of communication. Mostly it has some prominent features to disseminate project status in terms of indicators like Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Success Performance Indicator (SPI), Cost Performance Indicator (CPI), Schedule Variance (SV), Cost Variance (CV), Planned Value (PV), Actual Value (AC), Earned Value (EV) and others. The main concept of defining dash board is to showcase the driving of project; if it will be out of direction then you can easily track out leakages, weakness and disruptions.

Communication on completion
It’s recommended to communicate according to requirement during closeout or completion phase. At this time various aspects of communication functions need to undertake. First priority is to go for administrative closure and then financial and contractual closing.

In the end, I’d like to conclude by saying that effective communication is the true essence of project success and failure. If a solid communication plan is on place, tools and process are well defined and last but not the least your project team is fully communicated, well informed with authentic, absolute, concise, tested and timely information then you don’t need to get worry about achieving desire targets. It must come on your way.

Status: Published
Magazine: Teletimes International
Edition June 2010