I recently introduced a new exercise into my project management courses. The reason; I was concerned, very concerned about project management communications.
An analysis by Project Agency showed that just over 68% of people (of approximately 1400 people surveyed) feel project communications are poor or very poor.
The exercise is in three parts:
Part 1: I get people into small groups and ask them to identify as many (sensible) methods of communicating in a project within the company they work
Part 2: In one large group, I get them to share the different ways people communicate – this is where the first number comes in 51. This is the average number of different ways people can communicate in their business
Part 3: I then ask them to look at a case study we have been working on and develop a communications plan – using the appropriate communications medium and a project management template
The exercise identifies we only use very few ways to communicate
It’s an interesting exercise and the very first time we did this someone said;
“Amazing, 51 ways to communicate and our group has suggested only 3 on the list and these 3 are pretty common – email, phone and face to face. We completely ignored other ways”
I have tested this out with other groups and the tendency is to do the same. One person suggested we resort to type – if I have always used emails I will continue to use emails – despite many people on our courses saying they do not like to receive emails!
So how can you apply this to your projects?
68% of people quizzed have said that project management communications are poor or very poor. As I suggest to those on our project management training courses,
“You can change these figures and underlying impact by developing a realistic communications process”
Why not have a go at the above activity and apply it to one of your projects and let me know how it goes!