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Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams, 2nd Edition by Rory Burke, Steve Barron

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Chapter 21

Communication

Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
  • Understand how to transmit and receive information.
  • Understand how lines of communication link the project team and the other stakeholders.

Effective communication is one of the project manager’s key leadership skills. Project communication is the ability to transfer information from one person to another, in this case from the project manager to the team members and between team members. The ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing, is the foundation of effective project leadership. Through communication, team members share information and exchange ideas and influence attitudes, behaviors and understanding. Communication enables the project manager to develop interpersonal relationships; to inspire team members, handle conflict, negotiate with stakeholders, chair meetings and make presentations.

It is often stated that information costs money but, conversely, lack of information could be even more expensive. The cost of communication failure can be quantified as: poor problem solving and poor decision making (both based on incomplete information), rework due to the shop floor using old drawings, downtime due to managers not being advised of late delivery of materials and managers turning up for meetings that have been canceled. A trade-off needs to be established between the cost of mistakes and the cost of supplying good information.

Projects are particularly prone ...

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