There are hundreds of communication problems that project managers run into daily. However, since it is impossilbe to solve all of them, let’s spend some time and look the most common. If project managers at least knew the most common and fixed them, that will go a long way in helping them be successful. When Bruce Taylor and I were writing our first book the “Project Management Communication Bible” we found that these communication problems were the ones that most project managers faced. Since writing the book, and during the time I ran my two PMOs, and even today, I find that most project managers continue to face these same problems.
Here are the most common problems:
1. Failure to communicate effectively – Are you sending a 10 page detailed status report to a VP? Are you sending a one page colored high level status report to your team members? If you are, you are most likely not communicating effectively as you could be on your project.
2. Failure to believe communications is a high priority? This is on you the project manager and how much you value project communications on your project. If you do not value it or see that it is going to help you, then you won’t believe it is a high priority. That is a problem.
3. Failure to capture your customer’s communication requirements? That is right, you need to sit down with your customers and talk to them about what communications they need on your project. Sit down, show them examples, and ensure you are providing them the information they need to make business decisions. This is such an important step that most project managers fail to do on their projects.
4. Failure to create communications plans. How many times have your ran a project and never created a communication plan? If it was more than one, that is a problem? How many times have you created a communication because it was a check box exercise? Again, more than once, that is a problem. The most important document in the delivery of your project is a Project Management Communications plan.
Following these 4 steps will help you improve your project communications dramatically, and give you a huge advantage in driving your project communications.
What do you think?
Bill Dow, PMP