Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PM Insights: Communication Concerns

Over the next few weeks here on the Project World blog we're going to be featuring some of the insights shared at the 2011 Your Space session at the ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® event.

A repeat favorite, Your Space offers PW&WCBA attendees a chance to debrief on topics covered, come up actionable plans for their return to the office and share in the collective knowledge and expertise of other PW&WCBA attendees and speakers

 This week's topic comes from Table 6: Communication—between all groups 

So many projects are delayed or break down altogether due to miscommunications. Why is this?

Our team at Table 6 identified some common causes of communication breakdown, including:
- Silos: Left hand is unaware of what the right hand is doing 
- Over use of acronyms and terminology 
- Overlooking a communication need
- Problems with information data source and usability

As well as some steps towards improving communication:
- At the start of your project, identify your communication timing and details (how much/when)
- Find the appropriate use of technology and human touch for your stakeholders
- Remember the cost of not getting it right the first time
- Lead by example:
         - Define goals and set communication strategy. Ownership- Buy In continuous communication
         - Customize delivery approach and audience (explain how and why)
         - Train your team and direct to info source. Provide responsible leadership on usability
         - Use accountability, agreements and commitment
         - Encouragement, websites, develop, sharepoints, generic, servers, guidelines, byu in, WITFM,
           Support stories
- Use a stakeholder roster, org charts, or a communication tree

What would you add? What are your best practices for communication?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA and the voice behind the @Project_World twitter. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

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