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Importance of communication in project management

A newly graduated project manager recently asked me the following question:

”Jim, how important is really communication in a project?”

My first thought was:

“Wow, what a great and important question!”

After some thought, my answer was obvious. It was just a matter of how to explain, in an easy and pedagogical way, that communication is the most important part of all.

Nine different areas of knowledge within project management are stressed by the PMI (Project Management Institute) in their publication PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge):

- Project Integration Management

- Project Scope Management

- Project Time Management

- Project Cost Management

- Project Quality Management

- Project Human Resource Management

- Project Communications Management

- Project Risk Management

- Project Procurement Management

Knowledge in all of the above mentioned areas is crucial if you want to be or become a skilled project manager. But if I had to point out on of the areas as the single most important, I would choose skills in communication, oral as well as written. There are really no shortcuts to becoming a skilled communicator, only practice makes perfect.

It is important to determine with whom you are about to communicate in a project, and thereafter set up a plan (communications plan) of how and when to communicate with different participants.

The recommendation is to meet up with the participants at an early stage of the project, and thereby inspire confidence and at the same time establish how and when you shall communicate.

Good luck with your projects!

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