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  • Writer's pictureJerry Morla, MBA, MSL, PMP®

Crush your next project with effective communication! 🚀

Although the traditional understanding of the role of project managers is that these orchestrate the planning, execution, and oversight of project performance throughout the project lifecycle to ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and according to specifications, seasoned and ambitious professional project managers go beyond these by unlocking performance potential and exceeding value realization expectations.

While there isn't a magic formula to achieve this, as project managers dedicate up to 80% of their time to project communications, savvy project #leaders focus on enhancing these to unlock project performance!

Effective communications are less about information than about conveying messages effectively; so in practice, more about the recipients than the messenger. This is especially challenging in projects with diverse stakeholders and collaborators with different levels of technical understanding and experience from project sponsors to front line workers. Due to this, communicating effectively will be key to boosting project performance and setting you up for success.

Here are 4 points to elevate your project communications to 5-stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

1️⃣ Simplify and Streamline: The best way to close communication gaps across project stakeholders and collaborators with different backgrounds and levels of experience is to simplify and streamline. At times, project managers will have to communicate things 👉 as if talking to 9 year olds 🫶 to ensure a common baseline of understanding across the board. Also, develop and leverage clear communication plans so that everyone involves knows what types of information are expected, when to communicate, and the appointed communication channels to use 😯, otherwise, communications get lost or too much time is spent trying to pull or access the information required for project development 🤝

2️⃣ Illustrate: As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” 🖼️ Often folks over-rely on text communications, which can be the slowest and least effective method of communication in project management. That is why seasoned project managers leverage graphical tools and visual aids like Gantt charts, Kanban boards, Diagrams, Flowcharts, etc. to articulate strategies, processes, and expectations for execution of actions and deliverables for a project. Lazy project managers avoid putting the time and effort in, which hinders back project performance potential. Stellar project managers leverage various methods and tools for communication and validate understanding to ensure that deliverables are developed according to expectation 🫡📊📈

3️⃣ Be Polytactical: Average project managers put more thought on upward communication than on downward communications. They’ll go out of their way to craft ultra executive and sophisticated slide decks with fancy graphics for impressing project sponsors and upper management 🎤👔 but forgo the same impetus on communicating downward, often leaving front line folks fending for themselves as they try to make heads or tails from complicated documentation 🥵 Effective project managers use a variety of communication tactics and place the same level of effort for effectively communicating downwardly, as they do when aiming to please the bosses above the chain 👥📣

4️⃣ No Sugarcoating: Though people that inform things as they are (aka tell it like it is) are often disliked, effective project managers must feel comfortable with being unpopular, and instead aim to be reliable and trusted bearers of news. Also, solid project leaders know when to push politics aside and promote a no-nonsense mindset to keep things on track 🫶 The basic role of project managers is to lead projects to vision and value realization, not to win popularity contests. If you can’t handle this, as a popular saying goes, “go sell ice cream”!🍦🫶

Need help developing and implementing a robust communications plan and enhancing communications for success in your next project? Benefit from our extensive experience in US and international project management 🌎💼

We provide consulting and flexible project management and PMO setup services.

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About the author: Jerry Morla draws from decades of experience in technology oriented project leadership and post-graduate work in the areas of organizational development and leadership.

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