Project Management

Distributed PM: Communication

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

One of the most cited reasons for project failure is poor, unclear or inconsistent communication. This can lead to misunderstandings about the goals and objectives of a project; stakeholder expectations that are incorrect or unreasonable; and an overall lack of commitment to project success.

Effective communication is not about communicating everything, all of the time. It’s about ensuring that the right information is getting to the right people, at the right time, while not getting in the way of actually completing the work itself.

Managing communication with a co-located team, or a team that is able to meet in person is difficult on its own. Communicating with distributed stakeholders is even more of a challenge. It is not uncommon to unknowingly provide a different level of communication with the local group as with the remote group, creating a sense of being “left out” of key decisions or understandings that the rest of the group may share. On a distributed project—where all the team members are in different locations—this challenge is heightened and exacerbated.

As we continue to manage projects through the current pandemic—and in the future as more of us work from home or wherever we happen to be—communicating with distributed teams is going to be a part of our daily lives as project managers. It will take creating new …

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"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

- Chinese Proverb