A good communication with team is the main method for excellent project management. In fact, effective communication allows a project to have a successful conclusion, but on the other hand, bad communication could be fatal.
The project teams are in a constant state of communication: e-mails, videoconferences, phone calls, messages, face-to-face discussions, and non-verbal interactions.
- Open door policy
- Be open to mutual feedback
- Be clear about the activities
- Do fun things
- Give a purpose to coffee breaks
- Communication training courses
- Decide which form of communication
- Use project management software
- Identify group leaders
- Understanding diversity problems
- Identify the strengths
- Be open and honest
- Take advantage of mobile devices
- Make an anonymous survey
- Take responsibility for errors
Whatever the type of media used, project teams can increase the chances of reaching goals if the right communication strategies are developed and if everyone is kept informed about what is happening.
Here are some suggestions for the project manager in order to communicate effectively with the team during the project.
Adopt an “open door” policy
An “open door” policy allows anyone to ask questions and expose concerns and ideas at any time.
This is an important part of building trust within the team. Knowing that it is possible to ask questions about any concern is a great motivation for team members. It makes them feel important and an integral part of the project.
Another suggestion is not only to “open the door” figuratively, but also literally. Removing physical obstacles between employees creates a sense of mutual trust and encourages an open exchange of ideas.
Be open to mutual feedback
Nobody is perfect, so we all need a feedback from time to time.
A criticism or feedback is useful when it is constructive and, to be effective, it must be clear and detailed.
And we must not forget that feedback or criticism, whatever it may be, must be accepted and processed by the person who receives it. A good Project Manager must be ready to carefully examine the feedback received from the team and to take, where necessary, the right measures and / or corrections.
Be clear about the activities so that everyone knows his responsibility
No one can complete an activity if he is not sure what his responsibilities are.
For a project manager, it is essential to make sure that the whole team knows the purpose of the project and that each individual has a clear idea of what exactly is expected of him. In this a RACI matrix can be very useful.
Bringing the team together regularly in order to monitor progress, ask questions, and tackle any problem is another effective way to keep everyone on track. Make sure all team members are aware of their responsibilities within the project.
Do fun things to boost morale
Team building exercises have long been used to improve communication between team members.
In addition to organizing role-plays or other workplace activities, it is also possible to organize a dinner (for example once a month).
The goal is to create socialization among team members. When colleagues are comfortable with each other, they communicate better.
The feeling of having a second family at work makes people more willing to work harder towards a common goal.
Give a purpose to coffee breaks
Linked to the previous point and team building: a coffee break allows everyone to interact informally while still in the workplace.
Coffee is the fuel that allows most people to “survive” during working days, so why not make it enjoyable and productive at the same time?
Communication training courses
This can be very effective for improving group communication.
Communication-focused training is not just about basic conversation skills but, depending on the course, it could include presentation skills, writing skills, and training on managerial skills.
Decide which form of communication works best
Different situations require different ways of communication.
For a project that involves team members working remotely, for example, a video conference is an excellent way to keep in touch and exchange information on progress and goals.
For projects with an internal team, face-to-face meetings are often the best method of communication.
In short, depending on the type of project and team, the most efficient form of communication could be different. Therefore, it is important to choose it well.
Use project management software for greater transparency
Project management software enables transparency across the team, giving the possibility to monitor progress, collaborate with other members, and check details and deadlines.
With a simplified system, everyone has access to project specifications and can leave comments that others can see. Moreover, a chat inside the software, will greatly facilitate the communication between members.
Identify group leaders
In most project teams, there may be several leaders (below the project manager) who coordinate team subgroups.
It is important to make clear from the start who those leaders are, let the team members, but also the project manager himself, know exactly who to contact in case of problems or questions.
This process distributes work more equitably among leaders and reduces stress on individual team members.
Understanding diversity problems
When people of different nationalities, ideologies, and languages collaborate, the ideas that come from them can create something really special.
But diversity does not come without its challenges: accents, dialects, and cultural dialogues can sometimes lead to confuse communication and create misunderstandings.
To avoid these difficulties, team leaders, together with the project manager, must work on a strategy to minimize these problems.
Identify the strengths of each individual
Not all people like to communicate in the same way.
Visual people, for example, tend to prefer written forms of communication, such as e-mail or software, whereas other type of people benefit more from a phone call, video chat, or face-to-face meetings.
Taking note of the fact that everyone is different and prefers a different form of communication, not only does it improve the spread of information, but it allows us to recognize people as individuals and not as mere numbers.
Be open and honest with team members
Perhaps the most effective way to improve interpersonal communication in the workplace is to spread a sense of trust among team members.
Transparency is the key. If team members feel that some information is kept secret, any trust that has built up over time goes away.
Obviously, some sensitive information must be kept secret, but when it comes to something related to team members, they have the right to know.
The project manager must therefore be open and honest with them and ask them to do the same.
Mutual trust is important in every relationship, including professional relationships.
Take advantage of mobile devices
Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone or other mobile device connected to the network.
So why not take advantage of the opportunities that technological progress gives us?
Some software solutions for project management, for example, can offer an app for project managers and team members, with which it is possible to stay up to date on project developments in real time. In Twproject, for example, you can use the chat.
Make an anonymous survey
In many workplaces, it can be difficult for team members to always be honest.
In order to understand the needs and concerns of the team, a solution can be that of an anonymous survey.
In this way, it will be possible to collect all the concerns that are not directly communicated and find out possible problems that the project manager could not know.
People are more likely to be honest if they know their opinions are and will remain anonymous.
Take responsibility for errors
The best managers are those who assume their responsibilities, even – and above all – when it comes to errors.
Everyone makes mistakes, so by confessing his own fault, a project manager will show to be a human just like his employees.
Using these suggestions, you can bring the team together, improve communication and, in general, make the workplace a better place.
These factors lead to an improvement in the quality of the project, better control over the budget, and greater customer satisfaction.
When the workplace becomes a second home and colleagues become a second family, this cohesion translates into maximum team productivity.