Effective communication is key in every IT project or any project at that. A project lacking communication surely leads to failure. Different forms of communications are required during the life cycle of an IT project. Proper communication doesn’t mean bombarding the project sponsor with numerous data, reports or issues that are unorganized because they may get frustrated and wouldn’t be able to see the real problems. Effective communications means having some communication protocols where organized and relevant information are disseminated to each concerned stakeholder.
Rupen Charma (2010) categorized three effective communication methods used in projects as: interactive communication, push communication and pull communication. In interactive communication, there is a chance for each of the involve stakeholder to answer queries or issues immediately. This specific method is best used during meetings, brainstorming activities, and at times when immediate response to issues is needs. Phone calls, video conferencing, chats via social media and face-to-face meetings are examples of interactive communication. Project development team meetings and project status review meetings with the project sponsor are some ways where interactive communications are used. (dot.ca.gov) The disadvantage however of this type of communication is that body language and facial expressions can be clearly seen and likewise, some people cannot completely express themselves when they are in these situations.
Push communication, on the other hand, is a communication method where information is given to the stakeholders but without expecting reaction from them. For example, when an a team member is absent, meeting notes could be sent to that person, or in the case of the project sponsor, minutes of the meeting or status reports/accomplishment reports could be send to them for their information. Other examples of push communication are the project plans, meeting agendas or budgets. (Morris) The problem with push communication is that if there are reactions to what the team sent them or if actions are to be done, you cannot get them immediately.
The last of the three effective communication methods is pull communication. This type of communication is best when something needs to be disseminated for a large number of people. These can include guides or training materials. This is not a totally one-sided communication methods but usually, reactions are not expected and their access depends when the “need arises”. (Charma, 2010) One disadvantage however is that if the receiver has some reactions or comments, the appropriate time to react has sometimes passed and the documents have already distributed.
dot.ca.gov. PROJECT COMMUNICATION HANDBOOK. Retrieved from http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/projmgmt/documents/pchb/project_communication_handbook_2nd_ed.pdf
Morris, Rick A. Types of Communication Documents. Retrieved from http://www.netplaces.com/project-management/communications-management/types-of-communication-documents.htm
Sharma, Rupen (2010). The Road to Better Project Communication Management. Retrieved from http://www.brighthubpm.com/certification/85785-the-road-to-better-project-communication-management/