Enabling effective communication is an extremely important part of project management. All too often it is not viewed as something that needs attention, however if not properly handled, communication breakdown can lead to exacerbated team workers and angry clients. For many companies, communication is lost somewhere between a lot of emails or notes all over the office. Without any clear cut plan for efficient documentation and precise communication guidelines, a lot gets lost in the hustle and bustle of a busy company.
It is important to objectively evaluate where your communication stands at your company. Look at how project teams interact, and how those teams interact with vendors and sub-contractors. Is there any continuity or is it just a disaster. What tools are being used including software programs. Are all of your employees on the same page in regards to efficient communication. It’s necessary to find out where your company is lacking and where is excelling.
When evaluating your companies communication, break it into three areas that are critical to the health of your company:
- Construction Project Documentation: How fast is a document moving through your construction company? If documents are not moving smoothly, the projects probably aren’t either. Are you using software that helps with the project documentation? Is there adequate document storage? Is the documentation being seen by the right people at the right times? Having an automated workflow is a wonderful way to make sure that your employees are not only staying on task, but finishing them in a timely manner. Having software that included image functionalities, help reduce the repetition of manually copying, storing and dispersing the images to the people involved in the project. A document sharing platform helps tremendously with this problem because once loaded, anyone in the company who is working on that particular project has access to all of the document relating to it at the same time.
- Project Team Members: A good way to take an objective look at this is to consider everyone who has absolutely anything to do with a project is included in the project team list. Everyone on the team needs to be on the same page and have access to all information pertaining to the project. Sensitive information should only be available to the people with access to that level of information. The problem with manually trying to shuffle around all the information is it gets under-shared, in which case not everyone knows what is supposed to be happening, or over-shared, and people don’t just get what they need to know. Project management software allows for certain information to go to certain people and some to go to all, which results in a streamlined project.
- Project Communication Technology: Every team member needs the appropriate tools to do their job. In the office, that might include desktop computers, printers and phones, where out in the field it may be cell phones and tablets. Project management software boasts the ability to be a communication hub so all the information is going through one avenue instead of too many with the risk of mistakes. Miscommunication is reduced, and the communication is easily tracked. Good communication practices still need to be used even with project management software in place.Once you’ve evaluated the communication in your office and made the best possible changes to improve upon it, it is vital that you do periodic checks to maintain that good communication. Things change fast in a construction company, such as employee turn over, or growth and expansion, and communication needs to be fluid to keep up. By keeping good communication practices in play, you will have more satisfied employees and happier clients.