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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
January 30, 2007

Since communicating is about 90% of a project managers time, there is a reason to improve communications on a project. To overcome communication barriers, project managers must establish clear lines of communication and keep stakeholders constantly informed about the development of the project. The following techniques can help:

  • Keep a thorough knowledge of stakeholders' needs - Once people or organizations with a stake in the project are identified, you could invite those stakeholders to meetings or conference calls designed to elicit information regarding their needs. You might ask them about the format that best meets their needs, as well.
  • Use stakeholders' preferred method of interaction - It is important to find out from your stakeholders what communication channels they prefer--face-to-face, telephone, online, or hard copy. You can ask them in a meeting, by phone, or in a questionnaire. At the same time, you should gather relevant contact information.
  • Keep an open-door policy - To strengthen information sharing, tell stakeholders--via their preferred method of interaction--when you are available and invite their comments and questions. You could suggest the best time or way to reach you, or set aside particular times for them.
  • Interpret and clarify policies and procedures - Once you've consulted with stakeholders and developed communications policies and procedures, you must be sure they're understood. You can provide them in writing and then follow up by providing interpretation and clarification in meetings, on the telephone, or by e-mail.
  • Motivate staff and foster teamwork - You can motivate stakeholders to interact with one another by reminding them that they require each other's contributions in order to succeed. You should convey this general message formally and informally, and reiterate it in particular situations where it applies.

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1 Comments to “Ways to Improve Communication”

to improve communication

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