5 top tips for effective communication for project managers
Communication is always important, but when it comes to communicating as a project manager, there’s even more you need to consider! There are a number of stakeholders and so many key topics that it can get easy to start firing off emails left, right and center. Let us break down the best approach to take to communicating for a successful project.
How to communicate effectively as a project manager
We’ve outlined some practical tips to take into account for communicating about a project:
- What do I want to say – it’s important for a project manager to convey their message clearly
- Who do I want to say it to – there are a lot of stakeholders when it comes to projects, but they don’t all need to know everything
- How often do I want/need to say it – as a project manager, the last thing you want is to be doubling your own admin by over communicating
What project communications are there?
At the start of your project, it’s worth taking some time to define in detail what you need to communicate. The most standard messages that you would need to communicate are project updates.
You need to keep resources and stakeholders in the loop with regular updates. These can be simple email updates, or very complex reporting packs (learn how to automate this to make life easier). Whichever method you use, make sure that you regularly let people know how far along you are with your project, and if you need any help!
It’s useful to agree the format of updates up front in your project kick-off meeting so that everyone is happy with the communications they’ll receive.
Who should a project manager communicate with?
Who you want to communicate to is different for each type of communication. There are two main groups for you to define: project resources and project stakeholders.
The first is project resources; the people doing the work. They need to know of changes in timelines, changes in scope etc., important meetings or workshops.
The second is project stakeholders; people like your project sponsor, key managers that are involved, resource managers etc. They will need to know how the project is going, if they need to assist with anything, and have reassurance that it will be done in time and on budget.
How often does a project manager need to communicate?
How often you communicate is going to be very dependent on your project and your audience. As the project manager you will have a good feel for how often you should be communicating, but others may disagree or want more. The easiest thing to do is to ask up front!
At the start of your project, make a list of what you are communicating and to who. Next, add the frequency you believe to be right (e.g., a weekly report). In your first kick off meeting, project meeting, or even on your first mail around communication, ask anyone if they want any changes or have any requests around the frequencies.
A very small project obviously requires a lot less communication, but this does depend on who your stakeholders are. Some project stakeholders prefer to receive very regular updates, and some may want none which is why it’s great to outline from the start.
Using PPM software to deliver effective project communication
Utilising good PPM software helps you to speed up the communicating process through the ease of reporting and creating reporting decks. A good platform will let you keep all communications and updates in one place (saving you from sending 5+ follow up emails). Fluid is an all-in-one solution which means everything is readily available in one place for you to communicate on a project with ease.
You can add permissions to project boards giving project stakeholders and resources the ability to check in as they need to. Say goodbye to having lots of requests for updates. Project meeting minutes, actions and decisions can be linked to the project itself. This ensures everyone involved is updated and there is a single source of truth helping to avoid any confusion on who should be doing what! Reporting dashboards can easily be saved and used for future reporting too, whilst uploading your own company branded templates means you can export data out ready to present saving you even more time.
Talk to us today to learn how Fluid can help make your project communications more effective.