Communication in the project management: often underestimated

At the moment, projects are very much in vogue especially in medium-sized companies and a project is being set up for almost everything. The foundations for successful project management are certainly quickly learned, but their application and implementation in practice are much more difficult.

This article is intended to give you a small and far from complete insight into an underestimated area of ​​project management. And that is communication in the project.

Basics of communication project management

First of all, you have to clarify what communication means in general and then in particular for projects. Communication is nothing more, but nothing less than the exchange of information between two parties. It is classically differentiated between sender and receiver, whereby already Paul Watzlawick points out with his statement “one can not not communicate!” On the versatility of the topic. In addition to the verbal exchange of information, communication also includes further aspects such as gestures, facial expressions, tonality and the emotions with which a fact is explained.

If this point of view is extended even further by the communication square of Schulz von Thun, then the subject of communication acquires a complexity that is least conscious and therefore often underestimated. A circumstance that is ultimately not conducive to the success of a project.

The model of the communication square assumes that four different levels are used between transmitter and receiver, so that there are 16 different combinations of how a message is transmitted and received.

This model should not be further explored here, but only serve as an example in which field of tension communication takes place within a project.

From theory to practice

The variety of theoretical approaches to communication are usually difficult to put into practice in a project or workshop, so that the following three small examples show ways and tools that make life easier in everyday project life and, above all, improve results.

The stakeholders

This group is usually not operationally involved in the project, but has a great power of decision and influence on the project. It is therefore essential for the stakeholders to seek a special kind of communication that is tailored to their needs.

You want to be brief and concise on the most important decisions and progress within the project and be informed on time and, above all, without any active demands on your part.

The most appropriate means of communication are certainly written project status reports and regular meetings with the project team. The report shows at a glance the status of the project, the services provided, the points to be completed and an estimate of the outstanding tasks and the estimated budget. Deviations are immediately visible marked and provided with the appropriate justifications.

The regular meetings with the project team will discuss and clarify policy decisions that are beyond the scope of the project team’s scope of action. Above all, it is important to ensure an accurate preparation of the appointment, so that all information for decision-making is available and does not have to be researched first.