Communication in project management is critical for the success of the project. The amount of communication and the tactics employed in communication varies from project to project and from team to team. Depending on the scope of the project, one need to choose the most suitable way of communication: receiving reports from the project manager in charge or from each team member; participating in monthly, weekly or daily calls; communicating via e-mail, messengers, phone calls or through onsite representatives.
It’s important to have an open and honest discussion with you team during your project kick-off to discuss the expectations around communications to ensure everyone is on the same page. As the ‘customer’ of the project, it is especially important to state your expectations of the level of communication to ensure you are involved in the process as much as you want to be. If you are not a customer, put yourself in that person’s shoes and communicate how you think they want to be communicated with, if it is not stated upfront.
The electronic age has opened up many new avenues of communication, and it is important that you decide as a team what the preferred methods of communication is. E-mail, video conferencing, teleconferencing, and instant messaging are all popular forms of communication. Some examples of software are:
- Skype. This is a great and free tool for instant messaging, video conferencing, teleconferencing and screen sharing.
- WebEx. This tool is ideal for screen sharing presentations.
- Microsoft Lync. This is another tool used for instant messaging, teleconferencing, video conferencing, and screen sharing.
The electronic age has also made online project management tools more popular. These tools help increase transparency, and allow space for work activities. The top 4 online project management software packages for 2014 according to TopTenReviews.com are:
- Clarizen. The tool includes everything necessary for efficient, insightful multi-project portfolio management. It includes all modules that project managers use, such as budgeting, scheduling, time tracking, task management, reporting, request management, issue and bug management and financials.
- Genius Project. This project management software can help managers and teams manage projects, resources, tasks, requests, time and expense tracking, budgets, documents, requests and issues, invoices and more.
- AtTask. AtTask greatly reduces project failure rates by accounting for all the little things that influence project delays, such as side work, ad-hoc work, overburdened resources and other distractions. By providing complete visibility and advanced collaboration tools, AtTask helps managers see everything happening within a project so that they can make wiser, better-informed planning decisions.
- Project Insight. This online project management service provides full mobile access, supports traditional and proprietary methodologies, is Microsoft certified and includes free training. It is compatible with Sage accounting software as well as CRM and ERP solutions.
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