Saturday, April 21, 2012

Communication Skills in Project Management

Communication has been identified as one of the single biggest reasons for project success or failure. Effective communication within the project team and between the project manager, team members, and all external stakeholder is essential. Openness in communication is a gateway to teamwork and high performance. It improves relationship among project team members and creates mutual trust.

To communicate effectively, the project manager should be aware of the communication styles of other parties, cultural issues, relationships, personalities, and overall context of the situation. Awareness of these factors leads to mutual understanding and thus to effective communication. Project managers should identify various communication channels, understand what important they need to provide, what information they need to receive, and which interpersonal skills will help them communicate effectively with various project stakeholders. Carrying out team-building activities to determine team member communications styles (e.g. directive, collaborative, logical, explorer, etc), allows managers to plan their communications with appropriate sensitivity to relationship and cultural differences.

Listening is an important part of communication. Listening techniques, both active and effective give the user insight to problem areas, negotiation and conflict management strategies, decision making, and problem resolution.

The communication skills are common in the project management, such as:
  • Listening actively and effectively,
  • Questioning, 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 or organization to perform an action,
  • Negotiating to achieve mutually acceptable agreements between parties,
  • Resolving conflict to prevent disruptive impacts, and
  • Summarizing, recapping, and identifying next steps.

Source: Project Management of Body Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

No comments: