How Well Does your Project Team Communicate?

Does your project team know how to talk to each other? If so, you are one step above most companies. However, a few more tips will help you improve your productivity even more.

About the Author: Gary Galvin

August 24, 2015

Project Management Communication

If your project team communicates well, it fosters the productivity you need to complete tasks in time. Furthermore, your work performance will drastically improve. You also will enjoy your place of employment more.

A Team is as Strong as its Weakest Member

Not to scare you, but a team will function as well as the person contributing the least to a project.  It reminds me of what my high school coach use to tell us – “We are as strong as our weakest link“.  Do not depend on your teammates to do it for you, but instead make yourself an example.

We are as strong as our weakest link

If you complete your share of work according to your abilities, it increases the power of a team. You produce far more impressive results than if you just put forth mediocre effort.

Part of working together includes communicating well together. Do you know how to communicate with everyone on your team, including the leaders? If you do, you will become a strong participant.

Effective Project Communication Tips

Successful project completion requires that you know what to do to finish your tasks. If you don’t know every aspect of your project responsibilities, you need to know to whom to turn for answers.

If you want to maximize productivity in your office, use these tips:

  • Host meetings regularly. Weekly meetings probably would help the best. For more involved projects, you might have to meet daily. During this time, review accomplishments, tasks, issues, budgets and timelines of the project.  In addition, show everyone the steps they need to take to finish their tasks. Then, open up the session afterward for questions. Your team could meet online, but in person is best.
  • Use online collaboration tools to stay organized. Cloud calendars, online to-do lists and project schedules all keep you on task. Many collaboration systems also provide ways for you to view and share each other’s documents for further correction. Then, you can re-submit final drafts for editing.  At Galvin our main platform is Salesforce.  This is where everyone in the company resides and reviews information and data about any account, contact or opportunity.  Therefore, we have adopted Salesforce Chatter and Mavenlink as our main collaboration and management tools related to projects..
  • Give out project handbooks. These are not to be confused with employee handbooks but rather a project handbook is a short document containing the specifics of the project.  You can make a print one or included it in the online project collaboration project instructions. It could include job-specific roles and responsibilities and project-related goals so your entire team knows what is expected of them.
  • Implement an online discussion community.  For leaders, it helps you from having to repeat the answer to the same questions. It also helps your entire team learn project requirements much quicker, and it provides an outlet just in case of task delay. These interactions also help with project problem solving.  Again, just like for our collaboration tools we also utilize Salesforce Chatter and Manvelink for our discussion community.
  • Allow yourself plenty of space. The more room you have for completing jobs, the better off you will be. However, the workspace must stay neat. Otherwise, important task components could end up missing, and disorganization could delay project completion.
  • Offer a solid conflict-resolution system. Even some of the most pleasant work environments occasionally experience disagreements. Learning how to listen to each side of the story and having a formal complaint system helps resolve most workplace issues.  We have a saying at the office – “there will be issues because there are always issues.  It is in how to handle those issues will make this project successful”.  Make sure the team knows there needs to be transparency on the issues so we can take care of them quickly.
  • Stay available to others. Log into either Skype or Google Hangouts,  check your email, and check your phone messages often. Someone might have additional requirements or questions that require immediate responses. Everyone should stand by, though – not just the leaders!  Communication is critical and when someone is not communicating as they should it could bring the whole project down.
  • Host team building workshops. Include fun interpersonal communication activities in it and provide speakers who motivate people to work together. You can host employee events on site or at a conference center, and you can even make it part of a business trip.
  • Choose your words carefully. Employees of all skill levels must learn how to get along. Use language that builds each other up. Try to keep unhealthy competitiveness to a minimum.

You may not always follow the above tips perfectly. However, any amount of effort you make toward encouraging effective communication at your place of business will help. It takes practice to learn how to talk to one another, and it takes courage to take the first step toward improving your workplace relationships.

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