Project Team Communication
According to the Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI), Project Managers should spend as much as 90 % of their time communicating. This may surprise some or sound excessive until you realize that virtually every aspect of a Project Manager’s job involves communicating and exchanging information with others.
A project surely won’t get far without a solid plan, schedule & budget. But it is constant communication of the project’s status, to all of those with a vested interest in the initiative that really keeps moving a project toward success. Active projects are living embodiments of effort and are in a constant state of change:
- scope may evolve,
- progress is made,
- constraints are identified,
- risks are mitigated,
- team members are brought in/allocated out,
- project plan tasks are added, removed and annotated.
Involvement with the Team is Critical
At the core of all of this activity is the Project Manager – monitoring, assessing, controlling and keeping everything together and organized. In a vacuum, the Project Manager achieves nothing. Without regular correspondence and status checkpoints with the team, he/she would be ignorant of the team’s challenges or constraints, which could result in a delay of a milestone and disappointment of the Project Sponsor.
He/she wouldn’t know, perhaps, that two team members aren’t conversing with each other regarding completed tasks, which could unnecessarily be constraining a person ready and willing to make progress on a dependent task. A Project Manager’s involvement with the team is critical; it helps establish a clear view of project progress, identifies obstacles to project success and keeps everyone on the same page.
What about those that have a vested interest the project but are not involved on the project team? We’d call them stakeholders, and the topic of the importance of good communication continues in the next blog with a focus on communicating with non-team members.
Next Blog: The importance of good communication – Project Stakeholders
Alicia Gonzalez is a project manager at UNAPEN www.unapen.com.