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Project Communications: How to Keep Your Team Engaged and Informed 1 of 6 Project Communications: How to Keep Your Team Engaged and Informed By Dave Nielsen Communications are a critical deliverable of every successful project and a key project management soft-skill. You may not have thought of communications as an actual project deliverable, but it is. It may not be the one your client or customer places the most emphasis on, but that's because every client and customer will take good communications for granted. Project communications is one deliverable that you are personally responsible for and it's one that has a large influence over your project's success or failure. I say this because personal experience has taught me that the best managed projects, delivering on all their promises, on time, and on budget can still get a bad reputation and be perceived as failures. The reason: the project manager did not do an adequate job of communicating project success to their stakeholders. We hope that the information and template in this section will help guide you to choose the right information, schedule, and communication vehicles for your project. The Major Elements of Project Communications Who to communicate to... You could just say that it's important to communicate with all the project's stakeholders and leave it at that, but this approach would guarantee failure. Each individual stakeholder has a different set of requirements for project information, and prefers different ways of receiving their communications. It will not be possible to define a unique set of communications and communication vehicles for each stakeholder in most projects, so the best you can do is identify the different category of stakeholder and define the required information and communication methods that best suits the group. Executive Sponsor/Business Sponsor Probably the most important customer(s) of your project communications. It's going to be worth your while to define a custom set of communications for each person in this category. Generally speaking, these are busy people who don't have a lot of time to read a lot of detail. Charts and graphs that tell the viewer a lot about the project at a glance will probably work best for them. Take the time to interview them about their preferences: what they need to know, how they want to be communicated with, and how often. Keeping them informed about project performance is critical because they sign the cheque for the project (including your salary). They also need
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Project Communications: How to Keep Your Team Engaged and Informed 2 of 6 information so they can keep their peers appraised of the project's performance. Remember, they are your project champions so the better armed with information they are, the better job they can do promoting your project.
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