Maintaining awesome communication between departments, employees, management, and clients, during a project is like trying to keep a train on its tracks. You want the pace to pick up, but you’re also aware of the twists and turns that lay hidden in the journey. This can cause carriages to separate, they start to move at their own pace and sometimes, carriages going too slowly, can be hit up the backside by the following carriage. Analogies aside, effective communication during project management is constantly evolving. As tasks become more complex, B2B relationships become more demanding, and the need for rapid evolution in business becomes the norm, how on earth do employees remain connected?
Send, receive and review
The tried and tested method of communication is the business email. It’s something that will never ever be replaced because it’s a one-to-one channel, it’s on a private server and the data is encrypted. With modern cloud-based systems, it’s also very accessible too. So how do you know you have effective email communication? The send, receive, and review method should be employed to test this.
Once a week or once a fortnight, you should sit down with your project and task managers to review the emails sent between staff. If the sender didn’t include all the information needed for their request or update, that would mean the receiver had to send an email back or use other forms of communication to acquire clarity. How many messages on average are sent before effective communication or understanding is established? During the review, you should become aware of when time is being wasted or when employees are not properly sending or interpreting information.
Whether you’re using the text chat option in your task management software, a dedicated instant messaging service like Flock, or even just social media, employees need to open up communication to clarify the basics. When you start a new project, employees should come to work and just send a ‘hello’ message to the other employees that will be working on the tasks. You can send funny gifs and memes to get people to laugh so early in the morning, spreading a positive attitude or just make it a general practice for everyone involved to be friendly and supportive by saying ‘good morning guys’ via instant messaging. Managers and or critical team members can clarify the tasks that need to be done for the day. Something like “so we finished phase 1 yesterday, are you all good to go for phase 2 today?”, should become common practice first thing in the morning. It lets everyone know what the day will entail.
Don’t forget to call
Departments still need to talk to each other via voice. If you’re on different floors of different rooms, you can’t waste time by constantly getting up to talk to each other at your desks. You need a service like Gamma Telecom which has an effective call forwarding, holding, and accelerated communications path for employees to contact one another quickly. It’s also future-proof as you can add new tools and services as the system evolves, making it a worthwhile investment.
Speaking to each other via instant messaging first thing in the morning should become normal. But don’t underappreciate inter-department calling, so you can bounce ideas off each other fluidly and solve problems faster.