Before we review key principles and best practices, let's make sure we understand why we cannot take communications for granted. On one hand, we know instinctively that there are many factors that impact the communications processprimarily, because we live it every waking minute. On the other hand, many of us don't seem to incorporate this reality into how we communicate.
The goal of any communication is have the receiver end up with an understanding (resulting perception) that equals the meaning intended by the sender (intended message). It sounds so simple, doesn't it? Yet, as Figure 17.1 depicts, there are many challenges facing the accomplishment of this simple goal.
Figure 17.1. Challenges facing effective communications.
For any message to accomplish its goal, it must clear two key hurdles. First, it must register with the receiverit must hit their radar screen. Depending on the current state of the receiver (physical state, emotional state), other things happening in the environment (noise), and ability of receiver to focus and listen to the message, this may or may not occur. Second, if it does land on the receiver's radar screen, the message must then pass through a series of filters in the receiver's mind, including past experiences, assumptions, expectations, culture influences, values, and beliefs. And then, even when the message clears these two primary hurdles without significant distortion, the receiver's general ability to decode the message will vary depending on their natural learning style (such as auditory, visual, or kinesthetic). Heck, when you think about it, it's a wonder we ever clearly communicate anything.
So why bring all this up? Three reasons:
Part i. Project Management Jumpstart
Project Management Overview
The Project Manager
Essential Elements for any Successful Project
Part ii. Project Planning
Defining a Project
Planning a Project
Developing the Work Breakdown Structure
Estimating the Work
Developing the Project Schedule
Determining the Project Budget
Part iii. Project Control
Controlling a Project
Managing Project Changes
Managing Project Deliverables
Managing Project Issues
Managing Project Risks
Managing Project Quality
Part iv. Project Execution
Leading a Project
Managing Project Communications
Keys to Better Project Team Performance
Ending a Project