Project Management

3 Questions You Must Ask Before Communicating Anything

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She runs The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

You’ve crafted your project communication and it’s time to send it out into the world. But pause for a minute: What is it you are trying to achieve with this message?

We communicate on projects because we want someone else to do something. For example:

  • We want them to understand something.
  • We want them to take some kind of action.
  • We want them to pass information on to their colleagues.

Communication is never passive. The act of receiving and comprehending is as important as broadcasting. And given that we need people to take action on projects in order for the work to get done, it’s critically important that messages are understood and acted on.

So how do you increase the chances of that happening and avoid your message getting ignored in their inbox? There are three questions you must ask yourself before communicating anything, and if you take those into consideration you will massively increase your chances of the communication being effective. They are:

  1. Who are you communicating with?
  2. What are you communicating about?
  3. How are you going to communicate?

1. Who are you communicating with?

Who is getting this message? It seems an obvious question. But often, project managers are guilty of “broadcast” messages to all stakeholders or the whole team when a more tailored communication would work better.

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"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits."

- Mark Twain