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Topics: Communications Management
Communication Effectiveness
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How communication effectiveness are measured in projects? Is there any tools available?
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The metrics you define in the communication plan is the usual way of measuring effectiveness. The communication requirements you have captured as part of requirements analysis, the agreed communication methods you deploy in the project, the feedback mechanisms to assess if that communication is working (and this can include stakeholder feedback), is a common way of assessing it.
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In my opinion, there are no specific tools to measure the effectiveness of communication other than concluding so from the end results of the day to day activities. If there are many issues going on and the reasons are related to proper communication then certainly you need to improve and revisit your communication plan.
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Muthu -

You can do it throughout the lifecycle by determining the root cause for the issues identified and tracked in your issue log. If there are more than a handful which relate back to communications, that's a pretty clear indication that your communications planning and execution were not effective.

Another way to assess it is through stakeholder interaction - if stakeholders appear to be satisfied with how they are being communicated with, you are likely being effective.

Finally, look at how often you have to clarify a request or repeat it (or sometimes escalate it) - often times, the root cause for such challenges is also poor communications.

Kiron
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That is a good question. No tool will help you measure communication. Only you can self assess if you are reaching your team and keeping stakeholders happy with the approach you are using for communication.
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All you need to know about this topic is here: The Mathematical Theory of Communication (ISBN 0-252-72546-8), Claude Shannon. I applied it in practical way.
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As Sante said, communication plan is a very important tool. I advise doing it after a thorough stakeholder analysis plus revisiting it all through the project as things evolve and stakeholders’ involvement and interests change.
Remember that communication has various dimensions, and each dimension is measured. For example, if you are measuring its effectiveness between your team members, then you would check how collaborative they are, does each person get the chance to contribute in discussions, how comfortable they are to freely express their opinions, and how do they handle differences of opinion.
If you want to measure the effectiveness with clients, see how happy the client is, how fast you are able to influence them and the number of change requests you get. Too many change requests, for example, can be due to ineffective communication during requirements gathering and change requests.
Therefore, doing root-cause analysis to your project issues, as Kiron said, will help you determine if communication is the cause and what exactly needs to be improved.
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Thank you Sergio for the paper reference, though it seems too technical and with lots of difficult formulas. I would go with relatively simpler way as described by Sante, Kiron and Rami.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jan 13, 2018 2:59 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Just in case you are interested take into account this: all the new "buzzwords" like Big Data, IoT, Digital something are based on Shannon theory. About communication, all needed to real understand about communication is there. Mainly because the initial answer is about effectiveness. To evaluate the attributes of something you need to understand all its components and collect data. Communication is about a source, a target, a mean and a message. When you define what does mean effectiveness in your context then you have to collect data, create metrics and to create metrics you have to take into account that the objective is getting information about something. Effectiveness in this case. Then, all you need to know is Shannon.
Network:1415



Jan 13, 2018 9:05 AM
Replying to Najam Mumtaz
...
Thank you Sergio for the paper reference, though it seems too technical and with lots of difficult formulas. I would go with relatively simpler way as described by Sante, Kiron and Rami.
Just in case you are interested take into account this: all the new "buzzwords" like Big Data, IoT, Digital something are based on Shannon theory. About communication, all needed to real understand about communication is there. Mainly because the initial answer is about effectiveness. To evaluate the attributes of something you need to understand all its components and collect data. Communication is about a source, a target, a mean and a message. When you define what does mean effectiveness in your context then you have to collect data, create metrics and to create metrics you have to take into account that the objective is getting information about something. Effectiveness in this case. Then, all you need to know is Shannon.
...
1 reply by Najam Mumtaz
Jan 13, 2018 9:00 PM
Najam Mumtaz
...
Thank you Sergio, it is no doubt a detailed paper on the subject.
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I agree with Sante on this.

The communication management matrix plays a vital role, this will keep all project constituents on the same page, ensuring there are no breakdowns in processes.
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Jan 13, 2018 2:59 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Just in case you are interested take into account this: all the new "buzzwords" like Big Data, IoT, Digital something are based on Shannon theory. About communication, all needed to real understand about communication is there. Mainly because the initial answer is about effectiveness. To evaluate the attributes of something you need to understand all its components and collect data. Communication is about a source, a target, a mean and a message. When you define what does mean effectiveness in your context then you have to collect data, create metrics and to create metrics you have to take into account that the objective is getting information about something. Effectiveness in this case. Then, all you need to know is Shannon.
Thank you Sergio, it is no doubt a detailed paper on the subject.
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