Successful Projects need Successful Communications

by tmhr consulting

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There are a large number of things that we as project managers can do to help ensure that our projects are moving along and the right tasks are getting done on time.

Working with off shore resources

Many of our contractors are located off shore and we are not able to communicate with them in person. This can make it very difficult to gauge how they are doing and more important, if they are having difficulties.

We find that just being able to ask the right questions and listening to the answers to those questions can help a great deal.

Get to know our consultants personally

Another thing we try to do is not just talk about work all the time. Consultants, no matter what country they are from, have families, and other none work related responsibilities and interests. We find that it is better for building a strong level of trust and communication if we do share and find out about our consultants outside interests.

Chat or email

Many of our consultants do not have English as their native language and therefore they might not feel very comfortable speaking verbally in English. But if we communicate in a chat session it gives them a little bit longer to understand what I am saying and then be able to formulate a response back. So Skype chat or email is very valuable form of communication.

Speaking only through chat or email can be very effective but it is very important that you remember that neither you nor the consultant can see the expressions on your face. Therefore you have to make sure that you use indicators like (smiley face) “:-)” to let them know what your expression is at the time.

Help where it is needed

Besides being able to communicate effectively it is also very important to understand the work that is being done by your consultants and anticipate areas where you might be able to assist them. One area might be troubleshooting where some consultants want to solve all the problems themselves so they are reluctant to admit that they need help. So watching for that and providing or letting them know that you are there to help if or when they need it can be invaluable for your consultants and the project overall.

Understanding areas where your consultants are not very strong and lending support in those areas helps as well. A simple example would be where one web consultant just does not know how to manipulate image sizes. So if a logo or a picture image needs to be resized, instead of making him struggle with that issue I will just jump in and ask for the required size and resize the image for him. It is fast, quick and easy, and this lets the consultant focus on his strong point which is software coding.

Managing requirements and expectations

Another area that we find is very important is managing the customer requirements and expectations and helping the consultants understand their importance. For example if the client asks that the headings on the services web pages should be changed from black text on a white background to white text on a blue background we need to explain to the consultant why that change is important to the client.

IT project management communication tips

So understanding your clients needs, improving the trust levels and communication levels with your consultants, and jumping in and helping when and where it is required can be the difference between a successful and an a non-successful project and whether you get paid, and paid on time.

At tmhr consulting we strive always to have our projects delivered on time, on budget, and by having consultants who enjoy working for us and our clients we are able to achieve a high success rate with our clients projects.

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