Today, In a casual discussion one of my colleague told me that he has forwarded some queries on a proposed project to his boss. His boss will get it clarified with the client and update him on the same.
This reminded me about one of my project long back. There project team was forbidden to talk to client directly. All communication happened through project manager only. The mode was like
team member <–> team lead/architect <–> PM <=> client PM <–> client’s technical team
- Result: one week time to get a query answered. That too with insufficient or incorrect answers.
- Consequences: slow project progress, unhappy stakeholders.
One day, fortunately, we got a new project manager. And the forbidden forest became easily accessible. Now you could directly talk to the person who can solve the query, be it client PM or client’s technical staff. This small change accelerated the project progress. Rest as they say is history.
I learned certain stuff from this and created a theory that communication gaps kills the project. When I started managing the projects, I always emphasize on the following three factors:
Communication gap kills the project
The more channels in the communication medium, the poorer is the quality. There are two factors – one, indirect communication slows down the process; two, at each level there is loss if information. Indirect communication results in a slow and incomplete message. This raises another set of queries – which again slow down the progress. This may gradually kill the project.
Communication should be as direct as possible
Direct communication resolved the issue in a faster way. When knowledge possessor and knowledge seeker talks directly, there is no loss of the information. Further, any query which arise out of the answer, will get answered immediately. As a project manager you should keep the communications between teams as straight as possible.
But don’t forget the keep the stakeholders in loop
This is most important. You must always be informed about the information that is being exchanged between the cross team members. This is required for the good health of the project. This will help you to – 1. keep the project scope in control, 2. keep the project documents up-to-date and 3. Keeps you up-to-date on the current state of the project.
These three things will add rocket fuel to your project and make your life somewhat easier.
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