Project Managers Must Communicate

The technology to communicate is in place and the project plan includes activity to make sure that important communication happens. The project assurance team have no concerns about your plans.  You are content with what you have done.

That is not enough. 

The project manager who doesn’t communicate with stakeholders will generate something the project doesn’t need:  expectation that can’t be met (when assumptions fill the gap left by silence), fears that cannot be quickly resolved, or misunderstandings that fuel unfounded worries.

So what do you say when there is nothing to say? Communicate about the values and vision of the project, capabilities and triumphs of the team, and direction and progress of the work.

Have 30 second “chatty” sound bites on each of those topics. Make sure you believe them and they are authentic. You don’t know when you might need to be able to tell the story of your project  to a senior manager in an elevator ride or during a coffee break at another meeting. You may have to motivate your team to work a little harder to get over an unexpected set back.

Remember, these people fund, contribute to, or are customers for your project. They deserve your time, integrity and honesty.  Your own actions must be consistent with what you are saying: take a lesson from the leaders who had to leave because they didn’t reflect their organisation’s struggle. (BP’s Tony Hayward went sailing while the deep-sea oil rig leaked, Nero played while Rome burned, Fannie Mae’s Franklin Raines seemed to have unfair preferential treatment for his own home loan.)

About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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