12 June 2018

We know that communication skills matter. Do you?

by

Karolina Bielawska Karolina Bielawska

Probably you hear a lot of buzz about communication in project management. Do not think it’s unnecessary chatter. In fact, poor communication can ruin a project, and a good one – save each undertaking. See how our team works on improving effective communication skills.
 

How to be a good project manager?

In our team, this task belongs to Slawek. He eagerly shares with us his good knowledge about effective communication. Thanks to his passion and commitment, our projects are more and more streamlined from month to month. Slawek sensitizes us, for example, to the following truths:
 

  • Usually, companies push communication aside while working on projects. They don’t dedicate enough time to it, or it is thought that everyone can communicate well, so there is no point in practicing it.
  • Meanwhile, an effective communication will not create itself. Especially, in crews that are growing by new members. Certainly, you guess that the more people in the team, the more ways of communication there are. But do you know that there is a formula for it? Here it is:

 

n * (n-1) / 2

 
This means that in the case of a 5-person team, expanding it by 2 additional ones will increase the number of communication routes from 10 to as many as 21! That is why it is particularly important to create communication standards in expanding teams.

  • It is not good to interrupt a person’s work to start another project. Multitasking makes us work slower and less efficiently. The following table (inspired by SCRUM methodology) shows what the loss is caused by doing several things at once:
  •  

    The number of projects carried out at the same time Losses resulting in multitasking

    1 0%
    2 20%
    3 40%
    4 60%
    5 75%

     

  • Not only the lack of communication in project management is able to ruin the project, but also its excess. Therefore, the company should control the number of employees, the number of communication routes (see above), and then set its own tailor-made communication standards.

 

How do we work on projects?

We work according to the SCRUM methodology by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. It assumes that working on projects using Gantt charts is a thing of the past, and maybe it was a kind of revolution, but only 100 years ago.

Today’s teams should be flexible and work on short-term goals, so as to reach the highest one. The metaphor of the modern crew is the rugby team, in which all players are pushing in one direction in a single, compact group to achieve a common goal – a throw. So, the motto of each member of a contemporary team should be:
 

Observe, orient, decide, act.

 

We realize these best practices also in a group by so-called Daily meetings, during which we communicate to each other the following aspects:

  • What each of us did the day before.
  • What each of us is going to do today.
  • What problems we come across achieving our goals (this one we solve as a group).

Also, every Monday, we meet at so-called Sprint reviews, during which we collaborate about what was done last week.

We can proudly say that we work hard on effective communication in our company. We know that bad communication wastes time, and thus – our customers’ money. As you can see, a soft thing like communication affects hard aspects – for example, budgets.
 

What helps us to communicate even better?

We train communication skills not only in the office, but also after hours. For example in the nearby beach bar. 😉

communication skills

Keep your fingers crossed so that our communication skills will get better and better, and stay tuned!

See also: