Blog Post

Communication Oils the Machine

Tips for managing projects more effectively
January 15, 2014
Telling people within your organization what you want and need is critical to producing successful work.
That seems like a no-brainer, but apparently it’s not.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) recently calculated the cost of ineffective communication, underscoring the scope of the problem. According to PMI, $75 million for every $1 billion spent on projects is wasted due to ineffective communications. Basically, if you’re not talking with each other, you might as well be throwing money out the window.
Here are some tips that I use to keep the SE2 team on track and in constant communication.
  • Know your audience:  Your team members have unique personalities, different knowledge bases, and varied personal motivations. Make sure you are speaking their language to the best of your ability.  Keep jargon at a minimum and be specific in communicating individual roles and goals.
  • Make it personal: Our team is very passionate about the issues we work on, so I don’t have to worry about finding clever ways to emphasize project goals to team members. But you may not be so lucky.  Be clear, so each person understands how his/her work will influence others, and ultimately the project’s success. I have found that helping team members see how their unique skills will contribute to the success of the project inspires and motivates them to do great work.
  • Place a high value to communication: Set communications expectations from the get-go. Add communications tasks to your project and reinforce them during project status meetings. Make it everyone’s job to talk to each other. Give praise and acknowledge communications efforts. Recognize how effective communications are contributing to your project’s success.

What would you add to this list? Share your project management tips with me ( or @MRC_at_Work) and I’ll tweet them as I receive them
[Blog landing page photo credit: Knitsteel via Flickr]

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