As project managers, we know that at any given time depending on the size of the project, there could be well over a hundred different tasks to consider. While that might seem daunting, we thrive on the controlled chaos. We’re able to achieve success through communication, thoughtful planning, and organization.
Communication is the link between what an organization does and what it intends to do. With any project, there is an obligation to communicate freely and honestly with all parties involved to ensure a smooth process throughout. The key to achieving goals and the overall vision of a project is through developing a communication plan.
To begin developing a communication plan, you need to establish a meeting strategy. Ask yourself a few questions to create a framework for your plan:
- What is the purpose of this meeting? Every meeting should have a reason to exist with clear goals and an agenda.
- How often do we need to have this meeting? Sometimes meetings occur on the fly. We’re talking about concrete meetings for daily, weekly, monthly updates.
- Who needs to attend these meetings? Consider stakeholder positions and their role within the organization.
- How are these meetings going to be conducted? Via phone, video, in-person, etc.
Next, decide what your communication strategy will be. Some examples include:
- Status reports
- Project Dashboards
- To-Do Lists
- Collaboration apps (Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc)
Open Communication Channels
Once you’ve determined the format of your communication plan, you must make communication accessible to everyone. Granted, not all parties need to be involved in every meeting, but everyone should be able to provide input. This way, you can be sure you’re allowing everyone to have a voice and give feedback, thus building trust and rapport. It also ensures no items or concerns are missed or overlooked.
Effective project management is done step-by-step and in pieces. In construction, we use the term phases—meaning the progress of the work is completed in phases that are in a specified order. Each phase of a project should have clear goals and milestones. Open and documented communication is crucial as work progresses, so you’ll need to keep a written communication log to reference throughout the project.
Stay on Track
An established communications plan will help keep everything on track. However, it also needs to be flexible. Your communication plan can’t be as rigid as that does not allow new ideas or innovative thinking.
There are many different styles, formats, and methods of communication plans. The key to a successful strategic plan is that you must conform to it. Don’t skip meetings, don’t close the communication loop, and don’t ignore suggestions. Find a solution that fits your team, culture, methods, technology, and stick to it.
Let’s get a conversation started. Contact Valiant Group for your next project.