Project Communication Management (Definition and Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 15, 2022

Published May 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

One of the most important responsibilities of project management is communication. Communication is typically a critical ability that enables projects to run effectively. Learning project communication management can help you lead project teams better. In this article, we define project communication management, discuss its importance, highlight its types, provide steps for effective communication in project management, and list other project management skills.

What is project communication management?

Project communication management refers to a group of processes that assist in ensuring the appropriate communications, which the relevant individuals transmit, are well received and understood. Communication in project management also deals with the sharing of ideas and opinions between professionals who are working on similar or related tasks. Essentially, communication in project management ensures that each professional working on the project is aware of the goals and expectations. This helps professionals work more efficiently and often improves the quality of their work.

Related: What Is a Project Management Plan? With Tips and Examples

Why is communication in project management important?

Since project teams frequently include professionals with diverse perspectives and abilities, communication is critical to keeping everyone informed and focused on the goal. Project managers spend significant amounts of time talking with their teams to ensure the project's success. While project managers prioritize communication, it's equally critical for other professionals to commit to developing their communication skills while working on the project. This may involve asking questions when they are unclear about a particular aspect of the project, or expressing a suggestion that may assist in its advancement.

Types of communication

Professionals separate most forms of communication into three categories, namely verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. Though each of these types is essential, many professionals rely on verbal and written communication the most. Here is a list of specific types of communication channels that professionals use in project management:

Meetings

Consider arranging regular or informal meetings with project participants. Meetings are a useful means of communication when you want to provide an update on a project that may require a detailed explanation or anticipate any inquiries. It may be beneficial to begin projects with a meeting to build your team of experts and establish a communication precedent. Consider conducting meetings in person or by video call to ensure the inclusion of all experts.

Related: Four Types of Communication (With Examples)

Email

Emails are a classic mode of communication that many workplaces utilize for professional and informal communication. When managing a project, check your email often to ensure that you read any project-related emails your team members send to you. Additionally, you may want to consider utilizing an email chain to notify your team of impending meetings and deadlines, or you may choose to send individual emails to experts with whom you wish to communicate.

Phone calls

Phone calls are an excellent way to communicate when you want an immediate response or the content you're trying to communicate is critical. Telephone conversations frequently have a more personal feel than various types of written communication. To ensure effective phone calls, consider texting the expert shortly before confirming their availability. This ensures they are ready for the issue you want to communicate.

Discussion boards

In the early stages of your project, consider establishing a discussion board or group chat. Professionals can use discussion boards to ask common inquiries and communicate with other members of their team. It's helpful to utilize a discussion board as both an educational and team-building tool since it may assist your team in enhancing their collaborative skills and work quality.

Surveys

Professionals may conduct surveys to ascertain overall consensus on a given subject. Consider utilizing surveys to solicit input from your team members or solicit votes on a certain issue. Surveys are also an excellent method for anonymous communication. This means you may solicit feedback from your team members without them feeling nervous about your response.

Presentations

Presentations are an effective method of verbal communication that professionals use to educate their colleagues about a subject or share information. Consider speaking at project milestones or organizing sessions to teach experts how to accomplish a certain activity. You may wish to deliver a presentation in person or by video call, or you may choose to make a document format of your presentation for individuals to view.

Memos

Memos are short, informational messages that update professionals on issues related to the project. Project managers often use memos to share new policies or procedures related to project tasks. When writing memos, try to keep your message brief. Professionals often email memos or print them off to post in a public area of the workplace.

Project plans

Project plans are documents that map out the process of a project. Managers usually create project plans in the early stages of their work but update them frequently. This management tool often includes projects objectives, contact information for team members, and other recourses to help aid in the project's development.

How to effectively communicate in project management

To manage your project effectively, it's vital to understand how to interact with your team. To learn how to communicate successfully, you may follow these steps:

1. Plan for the project

It's important to consider communication throughout the project's earliest planning phase. Try to develop a project plan that details each stage of the project and carefully assemble your team of pros. Planning for these elements of the project early on allows for more efficient communication with your team later on in the project.

Related: How to Create a Project Communication Plan (With Template)

2. Establish a communication method

Try to establish a key means of communication for the project after assembling a team and developing a project strategy. While it may be useful to utilize many modes of communication during the project, notifying team members of the primary mode of communication helps structure the project. For instance, you might initiate a group chat at the start of the project and indicate the type of communication you intend professionals to have there.

3. Share project goals

Try to ensure that you communicate the project's objectives to your team on a frequent basis. This guarantees that each individual is aware of the project's objectives. Consider inviting specialists to provide their suggestions on how to accomplish the project's objectives when presenting them. This may assist you in achieving your project's objectives with a higher level of quality or efficiency.

4. Listen to your team

Listening skills are critical for communication growth. Try to listen to your team and attempt to elicit their opinions and ideas on certain themes. This enables you to communicate with the team and demonstrates your appreciation and respect for them. Usually, when you demonstrate your respect for your project team by listening to them, they feel more motivated to reciprocate. This enhances your leadership abilities and helps in the completion of your project's objectives.

5. Keep everyone updated

As your project progresses, be sure to update your team on any changes within the project. This includes updates on progress, policy change, new methods, and other aspects of the project. Keeping your team updated ensures that each professional understands the current status of the project. It also may foster a sense of inclusion and accountability, as you are involving everyone in the project's processes.

6. Monitor employee performance

Monitoring your team member's job performance allows you to notice if any employee needs extra help. This also helps you understand what you want to communicate. Knowing how each team member is performing also may let you decide which type of communication works best for your project. For example, if you notice a few employees are not working under the most up-to-date terms of the project, you might change your communication method to a more effective type for your team.

Other essential project manager skills

Here are some other vital project management skills you can develop alongside a project communication management focus:

Organization

To guarantee that processes function smoothly and under shared objectives, it's necessary for project managers to possess good organizational abilities. While this involves the capacity to multitask, it also includes the ability to prioritize activities, compartmentalize projects, and document everything. This is helpful for future reference and access.

Negotiation

A project manager's negotiation skills are necessary to be effective with suppliers, clients, and other stakeholders. Additionally, it's important for you to use negotiating skills while collaborating with your team to ensure that everyone aligns with the team's strategic goals. Negotiation skills are also used to resolve interpersonal problems within the team.

Time management

Each project is time-sensitive, which implies that various activities are to be completed in a short period of time. It's necessary for project managers to be capable of developing a project schedule and adhering to it throughout the project's lifespan. This includes maintaining good communication with the entire project team.

Related: How to Understand Project Management Triple Constraint

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