Many organizations place a lot of emphasis on communicating with external project stakeholders, and rightly so. They set up formal project communications teams which create detailed communication strategies, plans, and deliverables that go through extensive review and approval processes.
While this type of communication is very important, one must not forget internal project communications—the sharing of information with fellow team members. Internal communication ensures that all the project resources have the correct information, leading to overall alignment in both strategy and tactics.
Any misunderstandings can be detrimental to the success of the project. While good communication reduces risk and enables issues to be addressed quickly, poor communication can significantly increase the overall project risk.
The best way is to plan ahead. Why not treat it the same way as communication with external project stakeholders? Create an internal communication strategy and plan. It is essential that communication be both top-down and bottom-up. Success must be monitored on an ongoing basis and delivery methods revised as required.
The extent of internal communications will vary depending on the size and complexity of a project. Not all of the above components are required for all projects. For smaller projects, the required process may be as basic as one weekly meeting. On the other hand, larger initiatives may require a much more extensive methodology to ensure that all the project team members are connected. Ultimately, as long as internal communications are planned, executed and monitored, the risk of miscommunication and misalignment can be mitigated.
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