Misinformation, misunderstandings, inefficient information exchange, poor feedback and input mechanisms, lost emails, internal – client collaboration, remote working and distributed teams all add further complexity to an already complex project.
Establishing clear lines of communication and responsibilities, as well as multiple methods of communication, and shared resource environments can all enhance efficiencies and eliminate misunderstandings.
Here’s our top three tips on project communication:
1. Hold regular team meetings
Regular team meetings help ensure all team members are aligned with the project direction and plan, keeping the project on track. This can be separated into subject-specific meetings, if required.
2. Use technology to facilitate the project
Technology can be used in many ways to facilitate a project. We commonly create a shared environment, where project resources can be stored, accessed and edited by the team. This ensures a single source of truth, where we are all reading from the same song sheet. Project management software is also useful to allocate and action resourcing and plan the project timelines.
Face to face meetings are not always possible, so we use Microsoft Teams (or you may choose another similar service) to enable a group ‘project’ team to be established virtually. Hold formal video / tele meetings with the whole team and use the chat for informal communications in-between. Formal team meetings can be recorded to document actions and team members can return to view the meeting if they were unavailable or for clarification.
3. Implement regular reporting
Reporting progress to plan and milestone deliverables is essential and we often find that, as a bi-product, it also acts to boost productivity. There are several reports we use. One is called a Project Status Reports. It as a primary communication tool to reflect where a project is at, at a point in time. It is not an assessment of performance and does not require certain milestones to be reached before release but is important to retain an understanding of the progress of the project. We also conduct Project Management Reviews at project initiation, midpoint (can be multiple) and closure. These are held between the Project Lead and our Program Lead (technical capability) to ensure successful project delivery. In particular, they identify risks and issues, with accompanying preventative or corrective actions planned.