Five planning steps effective business communication

A project team must craft a communications plan early in the process.A project team must craft a communications plan early in the process.

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Project communications are a coordinated effort by all team members, from the project manager who is responsible for the overall message and how it is delivered, to individual team members who contribute to the process. Project communications plans follow the basic questions of who will receive information, what information needs to be communicated, how will information be disseminated and how often, and finally who on the project team will be responsible for delivering the information.

Audience

The project team must identify all audiences that will receive communications. In a large company, information technology project communications delivered to technical and development teams would vary widely from information provided to senior management, middle management or administrative staff. Other examples of various audiences within a large organization would be staff appointed to conduct end user testing or to write end user documentation.

Information Needs

Whether communications are distributed only to technical or functional teams, or address a wider audience, each message delivered should be prepared for a specific target audience. If a number of different audiences with different needs exist, the content of each message should also be varied for the intended recipients. An example in information technology would be communications of technical specifications that would be delivered to developers. This same information would not be delivered to all end user systems testers, only those responsible for documentation.

Related Reading: Examples of Strategic Objectives in Project Management

Media

Though electronic communications such as email may be the most efficient means of communication, it is not always the most effective in communications of project information or to deliver training. The project team should also consider newsletters, video feeds or webinars. Group presentations and town hall meetings to provide for question-and-answer sessions can also be provided to communicate project goals, user training or project results.

Timing

Communications for any project should start in the planning stages. Though the initial phases of communication will not be as robust as those near the end of a project, the initial step of broadcasting planned changes to any infrastructure or process is critical to receive buy-in from all parties. Information flow should be handled by the project team in coordination with senior management of an organization. This coordination is to define what information is to be delivered at various points during project progression.


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Q&A

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How effective is nonverbal communication?

This is an example of how nonverbal cues can give away a fib and work against you. But there are also ways the same nonverbal "language" can be an effective communication tool and work in your favor. Over the years, linguists, sociologists and other researchers have conducted a great deal of research on nonverbal communication. Many of these studies indicate that the actual words we use play a very small role in how we communicate. What really gets a message across are facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, voice and eye contact. Even touch and the amount of personal space you all…


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