4 Common Miscommunication Mistakes In Project Management

It's no secret and any project manager professional can tell you, that the most successful projects they've been a part of had top-notch communication tactics and methods.

Communications skills and strategy are crucial to drive any project team forward and ensure deliverables are being met.

Here are 4 of the most common miscommunications mistakes that happen in project management:

#1 :: Thinking You've Actually Communicated, And You Haven't.

Often times in a project team, you as the PM may say something 3 or 4 times and STILL miss a section of your team, or worse yet they misinterpreted what you said. Never assume that you have communicated thoroughly until you have gotten a response or acknowledgement back form each member of the team you are communicating to.

#2 :: Thinking You've Communicate Enough.

Next, no amount of communication is ever enough. It's actually difficult to over communicate, however it is very easy to under-communicate or not communicate enough and miss team members or groups. This is especially true if you are in a high matrix organization and you have lots of oversight.

In order to effectively communicate, you need to do so 7 times, 7 ways. This is a good method for gauging the importance of communication. Keep in mind, this all depends on the details of what you are trying to communicate. For example, if you have a small detail, like a change in meeting attendance, that wouldn't really warrant 7 different forms of communication.

Be sure to match the method to the need, and then it is actually nearly impossible to over-communicate.

#3 :: Thinking There Is Only One Communication Method.

Believing communication methods are a one-size fits all model. Some project managers are heavily reliant on email and think that is the only way we can communicate. Obviously, the best form of communication has been, is and will likely always be face-to-face communication. Don't rely on an email to be your only and truest method of communicating a project detail, because it simply isn't.

#4 :: Thinking Communication Can't Be Planned In Advance.

Not planning for communication is a major miscommunication. Projects offer many opportunities to plan in advance for the various communications that may arise during a project. You don't necessarily have to wait until the communication needs to go out, but can be proactive and plan for when communication should be sent.

Making sure we plan for each communication the best as possible, increases the likelihood project constituents will understand the intended message. Obviously, as a project is executed some updates and changes will need to happen rapidly right and on-the-go, however others can be planned.

If you find yourself falling into one of these 4 common miscommunications mistakes, it's never too late to correct it! Take steps now to correct and improve on your communication processes and methodologies.