Transparent exchange in (agile) project management
Let’s make it short: an insufficiently communicated project is doomed to fail. Granted – maybe not always, but especially when it’s no longer just a “one-man project”. As soon as an entire team is involved in a project, it leads to chaos, problems and an inefficient way of working . This is precisely why project communication is a central component during the entire implementation of a project.
Unclear requirements due to missing messages
Communication in the project is therefore decisive for the success of the project. Project participants are not only informed about the background , but also receive necessary requirements and are kept up-to-date on an ongoing basis. If these messages or a communication plan are missing, it can quickly happen that clients are dissatisfied with the result or that the project takes more time than necessary because more iterations are required .
So, what does project communication actually involve? What challenges do project managers face? And how does a successful exchange take place in the PM tool?
1. Project communication – a definition
Project communication is about providing all those involved with information related to the project . These are, for example, deadlines, tasks, appointments, meetings, scope or budgets. Questions such as “What is the goal? What requirements does the client have? What is the current status of the project? What results can be expected?” answered.
Project communication is therefore any interaction between the project manager, project team, management, client, supplier and all other stakeholders who have something to do with the project.
Ongoing dialogue between project participants
Project communication takes place throughout the implementation of a project . It starts even before the starting signal for a new project and ends only after the project, including documentation and lessons learned , has been completed. In order to always remain on the same level with all those involved, all communication must be recorded and continuously updated.
2. Project communication goals
The aim of project communication is an exchange of information. Questions, problems and challenges should be clarified as quickly and easily as possible. This exchange should also increase motivation in the team and positively influence understanding .
These are concrete goals of the exchange of information
- Clarify project goals
- Optimize project execution
- Provide information about the progress of the project to stakeholders n
- Increase motivation and productivity
- Continuous dialogue between actors
- Get constant feedback
- Solve uncertainties and problems
- Allocation of tasks to project staff in a clear manner
A successful exchange in the project not only gives those involved in the project all the necessary information, but also involves every single employee throughout the project phases and clarifies the “why” behind it.
3. Project management software as a central location for project communication
In many teams, the transfer of information by e-mail is still part of the agenda : the current project status to the customer, a new task to the project employee and notification of the deadline to the supplier. As a project manager, you can quickly get lost in the e-mail chaos.
Who does not know it: You are in a meeting with a supervisor to go through the latest figures with him, which you have previously received from your teammate by e-mail. Since that wasn’t the only e-mail that day, they face the problem of finding it at all. The extensive search costs time and demands the patience of your counterpart.
Efficient project communication takes place in project management software , because the project is mapped as an overall picture in the tool. Information is always at hand in the software and can be accessed by all stakeholders at any time. In addition, changes are continuously recorded and can be followed by everyone – which is particularly important for agile project management.
Project and task related communication
The exchange should always take place in the tool in a project or task-related manner in order to be able to allocate information more easily. At the task level, questions can then be asked and answered in the comment field , for example . Current events can thus be transmitted directly to superiors.
Five tips to communicate even more clearly in the tool
- Comprehensible and target group-oriented information : Short and clear.
- Communicate task-related: Find the right contact person in tasks and address project colleagues directly via @-mention.
- Save attachments from e-mails from external parties in the associated task or invite them directly to the cloud as a guest user
- Make regular changes to update outdated information
- Assign write and access rights for tasks and projects
4. Conclusion: How information is conveyed is a crucial success factor
Success factors in project communication are not only what information is conveyed, but also how. The exchange via e-mail quickly becomes confusing and even Excel lists or Word documents do not lead to professional project communication.