Project Communications Management includes the processes that are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring, and the ultimate disposition of project information. Project managers spend most of their time communicating with team members and other project stakeholders, whether they are internal (at all organizational levels) or external to the organization. Effective communication creates a bridge between diverse stakeholders who may have different cultural and organizational backgrounds, different levels of expertise, and different perspectives and interests, which impact or have an influence upon the project execution or outcome.
The communication activities involved in these processes may often have many potential dimensions that need to be considered, including, but not limited to:
- Internal (within the project) and external (customer, vendors, other projects, organizations, the public)
- Formal (reports, minutes, briefings) and informal (emails, memos, ad-hoc discussions)
- Vertical (up and down the organization) and horizontal (with peers)
- Official (newsletters, annual report) and unofficial (off the record communications)
- Written and oral, and verbal (voice inflections) and nonverbal (body language)
Most communication skills are common for both general management and project management, such as, but not limited to:
- Listening actively and effectively
- Questioning and probing ideas and situations to ensure better understanding
- Educating to increase team’s knowledge so that they can be more effective
- Fact-finding to identify or confirm information
- Setting and managing expectations
- Persuading a person, a team, or an organization to perform an action
- Motivating to provide encouragement or reassurance
- Coaching to improve performance and achieve desired results
- Negotiating to achieve mutually acceptable agreements between parties
- Resolving conflict to prevent disruptive impacts
Process and Procedures:
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- Project Management Institute. (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) – Fifth Edition. Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute
Ten tips for managers on active listening skills, motivating employees, workplace productivity, employee retention strategies, and change management techniques
3/2/2023 – Use the Four Steps in a Document Life Cycle
Document management is a part of communication management. It is essential for the project manager to recognize the stages that a document must go through from creation to completion. This knowledge allows the project manager to understand the overall status of a document at any given time and helps ensure adequate time is allocated for the completion of the document. For instance, when a team member says they can complete a document in two weeks, are they saying that the document will be ready to circulate in two weeks or that the document will be completed and totally approved in two weeks? Not all documents need to go through all the stages of document creation and approval. However, depending on the document, one or more steps will be required.
Step 1. Plan the document
Sometimes you can sit down and immediately start writing your document. Other times you need to think, prepare and plan first. This is especially true as your document gets more extensive and more complex. Preparation and planning, which includes outlining the content and structuring the sections, will help you get started.
Step 2. Create the initial document draft
In this step, the document draft is created. If there are no subsequent reviews and approvals, this step results in the creation of the final deliverable. Most of the effort associated with the document is used in this step. Subsequent steps may take a long duration, but they do not take nearly as much action.
Step 3. Circulate document for feedback and modify as appropriate
This step involves circulating the document for initial review and feedback. The document is updated based on the review comments. Depending on the particular document, this may be an iterative step. A document may have an internal review, a stakeholder review, and a management review. After each review, the document is subsequently modified based on the feedback and sent to the next step.
Step 4. Gain document approval
After the document has been circulated for feedback and subsequently updated, it will be ready for final approval. Some documents should be formally approved in writing. Others are simply considered complete after the final round of feedback is received.
Like all completed deliverables, there may be subsequent updates or enhancements that may require their own mini-document life cycle as well.