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Strategies which make project team communication successfull

Organizations are challenged  by forming virtual project teams that interact primarily via electronic networks. Virtual team is a form of a network organization, which grew up by evolution.

In this article we {EvergoPartners} want to talk about project team communication strategies.

Regular meetings

Hold regular strategy meetings for the entire team. Those meetings can give everyone an opportunity to be present in every important discussion. It is especially important while project changes are being discussed. Regular meetings are giving all team members a chance to share ideas, concerns, and provide status updates. You have to remember not waste time, and try to limit meetings to 50 minutes. This way, everyone has a few minutes for administrative work or simply a chance to get to the next meeting.

Make sure that meetings stay on schedule:

  • Assign a timekeeper;
  • Draft an agenda and send it to all team members prior to the meeting;
  • Unless urgent, table any non-agenda issues raised, with the understanding that they will be up for discussion later;
  • Schedule the next meeting in advance and keep a record of discussion items to be carried forward.
Transparency, clarity, and brevity

Communication can be time-consuming regardless of the form. You can avoid wasting other people’s and your own time, by being transparent, clear, and concise. Before you pick up the telephone, type an email or schedule a meeting, take a moment to consider the following:

  • The purpose of the communication;
  • The audience;
  • The desired outcome;
  • Will it be necessary to refer back to the conversation later or to provide details of it to others stakeholders?
  • Is the medium which I want to use the best type of communication?
  • Remember to get your messages across in ways that are easy to understand and accessible to everyone concerned.
Inclusiveness (Be inclusive)

Make sure you don’t forget anyone out when you invite people to meetings or send out reports. If you’re not sure if certain people need to be involved in a meeting, include them – just to avoid the error. It’s always better to gain more input from more people than limited input from just a few team members.

At the project kick-off meeting, ask the team members about their communication preferences. Good option is to use project software, which can be a central hub of communication. Compared with relying on email and an assortment of other communication tools, using central project software reduces the likelihood of people will be excluded from conversations that are important to them.

Using online collaboration tools

Collaboration tools help to streamline project management and facilitate the process of collaborating with team members and other stakeholders. Out of many tools, here is just short list of examples: JIRA, Mural, Trello, Asana, Basecamp.

Online project management tools are great for keeping everyone informed and up to date on a variety of project types.

Of course, collaboration software won’t guarantee that your team will communicate openly and efficiently. Whatever medium you use, communication will only be as good as the communication strategies you adopt.

Recognize that being right may be wrong                                      

Remember: getting everyone to see that you’re right might seem like a big victory. But such a “victory” can have far-reaching consequences if it affects the attitude or morale of other team members. Project teams are just that — teams — and therefore there’s little space for any member, regardless of position, to put a lot of energy into proving that he or she is usually right. Remember – do not alienate others to the extent that they stop to communicate altogether. No project can be successful with a team of one. An ego has to be left behind the door when team members are to communicate with each other.

Respect

People are involved in project teams for a reason. Whatever their roles, all members serve an intended purpose and bring intrinsic value to the project. Regardless of position and title in the company hierarchy, all participants should show respect for their fellow team members.

If you think that the opinions and thoughts of higher-level project participants may be given more weight than those of junior team members, you’ve just made a big mistake. Even if they disagree with people who outrank them, all team members should be able to freely communicate their opinions and concerns without fear. Great ideas are great ideas, regardless of who they come from.

Similar situation is when scheduling project activities. Every single team member’s competing responsibilities and time pressures should be taken into consideration. Teams cannot remain strong if they have weak links in the chain of mutual respect.

Summary                                                                                       

Project teams are in a constant state of communication via email, videoconferences, telephone calls, texts, face-to-face discussions, and even nonverbal interactions. Whatever media they use, project teams will increase their chances of achieving their goals if they develop successful strategies for keeping everyone informed about what’s going on. Otherwise, your project goals may fail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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