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Whose Fault is Poor Communication?

October 26, 2014

Whose Fault 2

We’ve all seen failed communication on our projects. During a presentation I was asked if this is upper management’s fault or if other people play a role in communication failures? I hear this a lot.

We are all empowered to improve communication. Everybody can do their part to communicate as effectively as possible and create a communication environment that advances the goals of the project or organization. Upper management can do a lot to set the tone for a project and can most directly impact the design of the communication environment. Other employees and contractors can work more effective by using good communication. Also, employees and contractors benefit by understanding the communication environment they are operating in.

Communication design is like budget. It is a constraint on the project.  Only a few people may actually determine the budget. But it is helpful for other people to know the budget so they can make informed decisions in their work.

Another person asked “how much influence does an individual project manager, employee or contractor  have on creating good communication?”

We can all enhance the communication environment within our specific span of control. Even if this is within a group of two or three coworkers. We can also understand the communication environment we are working in, the people we are working with and design our communication objects to be more effective.

Here’s one way we can all help with good communication. For example, knowing that people quickly begin to ignore repeated emails on the same topic delivered in a short period of time, we can scale back on repeated emails and use more effective communication. This simple change, undertaken by one person, can impact the overall design of the communication environment and help create good communication on our projects.

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