One of my sons is a .NET developer (a.k.a. software programmer). He recently told us about a task he was given that proved challenging and time-consuming. But he used some problem-solving skills and completed the task, feeling pretty good about his accomplishment. He then sent an email about it to the appropriate persons. Afterward, his supervisor surprised him with high praise—not for the job itself, but for the well written email!
At a time when technology has made many tasks easier, clear communication is still important. Problem-solving skills go only so far if communication skills are not also employed. And when many people work together on a project, proper, effective communication is essential.
Merriam-Webster defines communication as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior.” But most would agree that communication that does not express ideas effectively is useless, confusing or frustrating. How to express information accurately and clearly is something that all people should learn to do. Project managers in particular need to be great communicators. According to the Project Management Institute, “Project management communication is a skill that is never perfected, can always be improved and is pivotal in being able to initiate and mobilize a project effectively.”
We at Spitfire Management cannot help others with better listening, verbal or written skills (we are not grammarians nor life coaches), but we do believe that a project management system should make communication easy. To that end, the Spitfire Project Management System provides several communication aids for project managers, project teams and other project participants, for example:
- The system communicates upcoming due dates and past due dates through automatic Alerts.
- System documents provide ample areas for notes and remarks, some of which are date-time stamped.
- Regular emails (which many people still use for communication) can be automatically attached to documents and projects for easy retrieval and record-keeping.
- A Response Wizard (that sends information back to Spitfire) provides an alternative way for people to respond to emails.
- Routing provides a way to quickly communicate ball-in-court for documents and tasks.
- Predefined distribution lists help assure that communication reaches the right people every time.
- Project KPIs communicate the financial health of a project at-a-glance.
- Audit trails communicate who did what where and when.
In short, a good communicator with effective tools can become a great communicator, and a comprehensive project management system can provide even better communication to project participants.
If you want to see how the Spitfire Project Management System can help you better communicate project information, contact us for a free demo.Tweet