Project managers spend the vast majority of their time communicating with others. Depending on the source you reference, the figure can go as high as 80 percent of one’s time is tied-up in some type of communication. A good amount of this time is spent in external communication: the client, the architect, the design team, regulatory officials, vendors, and others. That’s a lot of stakeholders, however, the majority of the time you will invest elsewhere – in team communication. How you approach team communication is by far the most important thing you will do as a project manager.
Effective Team Communication Enables Successful Projects
Think about the teams you’ve served on thus far in your personal or professional time. Some were successful, others not so much. If you spend time considering why success was achieved in certain teams over others, I suspect you’ll find team communication played a role.
Over my career, I’ve served on many teams. Those teams that achieved the best successes by and far enjoyed stronger team communication. The team leader set expectations, maintained open and transparent lines of communication, and encouraged the same across the team. They also were proponents of the Rule of Three C’s – communicate, communicate, communicate.
I attribute the rule to an Air Force Chief I worked with when I was junior captain many years ago. A week didn’t go by where I didn’t hear “captain if you want to be more effective in getting everyone on board you need to communicate, communicate, communicate!”. He was on to something – the teams he led were always the best in the squadron and more often than not, the best on the base.
The take away is that effective team communication enables successful projects. If you foster an environment of open and transparent communication with your team, you also are providing an environment that will enhance the likelihood of project success. Without effective team communication, you greatly reduce the likelihood of project success.