Project managers needs to be a good communicator because communication plays a significant role in project management. When a project manager does not communicate effectively to his or her team members, they will not know what is supposed to be done and by when. Similarly, when the manager does not also know what the team is doing, he or she will not understand the progress of the project and this, in turn, leads to project failure. This essay seeks to explain various project communication methods and a distinction between at least three methods.
Communication Methods Used in Project Management.
Interactive communication is an instance of an effective method of communication in project management. For this communication method, all the stakeholders who are involved in this type of communication can respond to the each other in real time. Some examples of interactive communication include phone calls, face-to-face meetings, messenger chats, and video conferencing ( Larson & Gray, 2011) . These communication methods are regularly used in projects because they are considered to be more efficient than the other communication methods. Among these examples of interactive communication methods, face to face meetings is regarded to be the most efficient means of communication than the others because one can view facial expressions and the body language of the person communicating a message. In most cases, project managers should favor this type of communication
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Push communication is also another communication method that is effective. In this kind of communication, information is often distributed to people without getting any form of feedback from the recipients ( Larson & Gray, 2011) . For instance, after a brainstorming meeting, a manager may decide to send meeting notes to the people. Additionally, one can also choose to push information in a report form to the project stakeholders. Most organizations use this communication method to inform the shareholders through a press release.
This method is effective for a large number of people who need to access information at their preference. (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2006). For instance, supposing that an individual has carried out training for numerous developers, in that case, the developer needs to access the training materials once gain. Thus, one can decide to upload the content through intranet. After the end of the project, one may also decide to provide the people with project artifacts such as the decision trees or the precedence diagram. Since this information is usually accessed when there is the need to do that, push communication becomes the most efficient communication method
Comparing and Contrasting the Communication Methods
Interactive, push, and pull communication are communication methods used to serve the same purpose. That is, they disseminate information to people involved in project management. However, they all have their differences. One of their differences regards the nature of the information which they provide. For interactive communication, the information is usually sensitive and urgent. For the push communication, the nature of communication is often casual and not that much important. The kind of the information provided by pull communication is one that is casual and serves an informational purpose. Another difference among these project communication methods can be realized in the media used to communicate. Each of the methods uses different communication media. For interactive communication, it uses video conferences, meetings, phone calls, among other methods (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2006). Push communication uses letters, reports, faxes, memos, and emails. Contrastively, pull communication uses bulletin boards, knowledge repositories, websites, among others. The last difference is realized in required action. For example, in interactive communication, an immediate response is often required because the information communicated with that communication method is usually urgent and important ( Larson & Gray, 2011) . For push communication, immediate action is not necessary although the recipients have an obligation to take action whenever they see the message. For the pull communication, no action is required.
To better understand the differences between these project management communication methods, these examples will give a clear distinction between the three methods. For interactive communication, an example is having an important meeting with project stakeholders over video conference. For push communication, an example may be sending an email to tech team for fix a particular problem without expecting an immediate response. An example of pull communication may be browsing through various websites to gather information.
Example of Effective Communications within My Organization
In the organization I work with, all these three types of project communication methods are used depending on the nature of the situation. In most cases, project managers in my organization prefer using interactive communication performed over meetings, phones, and video conferences because it enables them to understand the stakeholders since they can catch a glimpse of their body language. For instance, since the organization has an on-going project, regular meetings are carried out with the stakeholders to understand the project progress. There are other instances when technical issues arise within the organization and require immediate attention. In such cases, emails are often sent to the tech specialists who come later to fix the problems after they read the email.
In summary, a manager needs to be maintaining accurate and open communication methods if he or she needs a project to be successful. The project stakeholders and the members need to be engaged interactively through the use of the best communication methods because communicating unclear and insufficient information leads to poor quality work and faulty assumptions. Thus, project managers should understand the nature and the urgency of information and choose the best communication method to pass the message.
Dinsmore, P., & Cabanis-Brewin, J. (2006). The AMA handbook of project management (1st Ed.). New York: Amacom.
Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2011). Project management: The managerial process.