26 May 2023
As a Project Manager, one of your most important roles is that of relaying information. In other words, you are responsible for gathering and synthesising information from various sources and disseminating it to the appropriate parties. This can include everything from project timelines and status updates to budget reports and resource allocation.
So, why is our role so important? Because effective communication is the backbone of any successful project. Without it, tasks can fall through the cracks, deadlines can be missed, and stakeholders can become frustrated or even hostile. As Project Managers, it's up to us to ensure everyone is on the same page and that information flows freely.
To be an effective relay of information, there are some critical skills needed:
To gather information effectively, you need to be a good listener! This means being fully present when someone is speaking to you, asking clarifying questions when necessary, and taking notes to help you remember key points.
Once you've gathered all the information you need, you must be able to synthesise it into a coherent message that can be easily understood by your team and stakeholders alike. This means distilling complex information into its key components and presenting it in a way that is easy to digest.
Every project is different, and the way you communicate information will depend on various factors, such as the size of the project, the number of stakeholders involved, and the nature of the work being done. As a bridge between your team and the client, you need to be able to adapt your communication style to fit the specific needs of each project and those involved in it.
In the world of Project Management — in any world, really — time (and timing) is of the essence. This means you need to be able to relay information in a timely manner, whether it's providing status updates to your team or alerting stakeholders to potential delays or issues. Anticipating the tips of icebergs to come also comes in handy. How to put these skills into practice? Read further for a few tips.
There are numerous tools available to help you communicate effectively, from project management software to email and instant messaging platforms. Make sure you're using the right tools for the job and that everyone on your team knows how to use them.
In our case, we currently use Notion, Slack, Figma, Linear, and Float.
Don't wait for someone to ask you for information. Instead, be proactive in communicating updates and progress reports. This will help keep everyone informed and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or delays.
Honesty and transparency are key to effective communication. Don't try to sweep it under the rug if there's an issue or a potential problem. Instead, bring it to the attention of your team or stakeholders and work together to find a solution.
Once you've relayed information, make sure to follow up with your team or stakeholders to ensure they understand what you've communicated. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and reduce the likelihood of miscommunication.
During the intense weeks leading up to our website launch, amidst the crunch time, last-minute details, and preparations, I realised that implementing all the suggested communication practices can be challenging, particularly when under pressure with multiple activities happening simultaneously. However, it is crucial to recognise when things go off track and quickly return to the plan. Equally important is offering a sincere apology to those who may have been adversely affected by the lack of timely and proper information.
In our case, I want to extend my sincerest apologies to João and Michele, both working remotely, who experienced the most significant impact. Amidst the chaos, information was often exchanged verbally rather than through organised channels like Slack, and issues were raised in Linear without providing all the necessary contextual details for those not physically present in the office. I truly regret any inconvenience caused to both of you, and I am committed to ensuring it does not happen again in the future.
Lead Project Manager
Tiago has been there, seen it, done it. If he hasn’t, he’s probably read about it. You’ll be struck by his calm demeanour, but luckily for us, that’s probably because whatever you approach him with, he’s already got a solution for it. Tiago is the PM Lead at Significa.Author page
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