A couple of posts on Paul Rasmussen’s blog prompts me to make my own comments about communication between members of a project team. In The Problem of Communication in Project Management Part 2, Paul discusses the types of communication currently used, which are meetings, phone calls and emails. In Part 3 he mentions new communication technologies – smart phones, wikis and social networking.
Having just been through two projects, I have found that the old ways of communication, particularly face-to-face, are the best for project communication. As we all know, more than 50% of our communication is non-verbal (ie, body language, voice tone), and also as we know, projects success is highly dependent on communication. So as in the case of one project manager, most communication was by email, then mis-understandings can happen. Our company has now instituted a directive that email is not considered adequate communication.
We have tried collaborative tools, such as Basecamp, to help with dispersed team members, but there seems to have been some reluctance to try these new tools. I find that interesting, considering we expect our clients to adopt new tools in the form of ERP solutions. So whether we would benefit from new communication technology is up for debate.
Email can be used to confirm and document facts and issues, however in my opinion, nothing replaces personal contact when it comes to communication.