Project Communication Management
Project Communications Management plays a crucial role in keeping all members of the project management team on the same page. Without communication among all team members and project stakeholders, there can be a breakdown in processes which could have a negative impact on the final product.
- The greatest threat to many projects is a failure to communicate.
- Our culture does not portray IT professionals as being good communicators.
- Research shows that IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively to succeed in their positions.
|Do you have the skills required for the role of a project manager? Try answering this PMP® Practice Preparation Questions and assess yourself.|
Or the core purpose of communication is to share messages or information with stakeholders. This is particularly true of communication with the project team members. The challenge of effective communication is keeping a consistent point and change the presentation and rhythm to avoid becoming boring. You might need to tell stories to ensure the key stakeholders get the message. Great communicators tell stories to connect with people and let me tell you it’s effortless to create a story. While telling a story, another key element is to finish on a high note. Great stories do not fade away.
Importance of Story Telling
One of the goals of the initial meeting is to develop an understanding of the client's ultimate business needs. This starts by listening to your client first before offering any solutions often; the IT staff quickly overwhelms their client with too many technical tools and solutions before getting a full understanding of what their client needs. And many times the clients feel they must communicate their needs in technical language, or have a technical stack in mind when coming to this meeting. As an IT person, we need to start with the basics and learn the client's business needs, defined in layman’s terms. Storytelling is an effective method of communicating these needs. Start by asking your client to tell you a story about what brought them to this table in the first place. It might be a story about a prospective client who couldn't find the product they were interested in on the organization's Web site and ended up going to another organization.
- Ask them to explain the problems they are currently experiencing
- Ask them to describe, their vision of how things should work in the future
- Ask your client if they have heard of or seen any examples at other businesses that they think might serve as a prototype of how to solve their problem, and lastly
- Ask your client if they have heard of or seen any technical tools that they think might provide a solution to their problem, and
You ask the questions, and the stories will emerge by themselves. Telling the story helps set priorities and take you closure to the solutions. In many cases, a frustrated organization may come to the table asking for a "whole new website," and the IT staffers may jump on the bandwagon by offering to design a new site from the ground up, a project that could take hundreds of hours.
Through storytelling, you might hear the real business. By hearing the issues first, you might determine that a few minor fixes to a Web site’s directory might solve the client's problem more effectively than a full site redesign. Storytelling is an excellent experience for clients. They often feel that they can better express their own needs in their own words than if they were forced to stumble through technical language in front of a roomful of IT staff. They feel as though they are a part of the process of resolving their problem or fulfilling their request and therefore tend to be more satisfied with the results.
Additionally, IT staff gains a much better understanding of the client’s needs, and they can offer better solutions. Better yet, the IT staff might be willing to implement a particular technology solution suggested by the client.