Communication plays a critical role in project management. Project Manager spends 90% of his time on communication during project life cycle. There are various touch points of communication in projects. There are various stakeholder with whom communications is taking place on a project. Each Stakeholder’s needs of communication is different. Managing communication is nothing but making right information available to right stakeholder, at right point of time by a mode of communication available on a project. Project Success largely depend on the effectiveness of communication on project. One out of five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communications.
We generally see what happens on a project due to lack of communication which is explained in the figure below.
In communication, the noise or barrier plays role in not transmitting the right message to the receiver.
It is important to note that when number of people increases in communication process, the number of communication channels increases drastically. This creates complexity in communication. The formulae of arriving number of communication channels is
C= n( n-1)/2, when “C” is number of communication channels & “n” is number of people.
In Project Management Body of Knowledge , to manage communication , there are 3 process. The same are given in following figure.
The first process is making a communication management plan.To prepare this plan, it is important to identify the communication needs of the stakeholder.
The typical communication plan is given below. The same can be project specific but important point is to make this plan right at the start of the project and continue to make changes as and when required. This document must be dynamic and to be reviewed regularly. For example, when a new team member is included in the team, or a team member leaves , the plan must be updated.
The second process of managing communication is to implement communication plan and ensure the communication is managed effectively throughout the project.
The “Control Communication” is included to ensure the deviation in the communication process is controlled effectively. The whole objective is to meet the communication needs of the stakeholders. Various challenges can be faced during the project life cycle. It is important to clear these challenges and ensure the right communication is made to the right stakeholder at right point of time. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of sender to ensure that the message is delivered and sender has understood the same.
In today’s context wherein most of the project communication is done virtually, the complexity is increased and chances of wrong communication can be more if not managed properly. The whole purpose of communication project is to avoid wrong communication, rumours on the project and ensure communication helps in achieving success of a project.