Using Online Project Management Applications to Support Effective Project Communications
Communication is probably the single most important activity contributing to successful project management and a good project manager can realistically expect to spend around 85% to 90% of the time engaged in communications of one sort or another. Of course, effective planning, setting milestones, managing risks and issues all have to be carried out and managed well, too, but without adequate communications, a project is set up to fail.
Communications within projects is all about getting a message across to the team, or contractors or, in fact, any other stakeholders, such that they either understand the status of any given activity or stage of the project, or that they understand what they are expected to do. Of course, different recipients will need different information and it’s the project manager’s role to ensure that the right information goes to the right people, so s/he needs to understand who needs to know what and when do they need to know it? Using a simple matrix can help keep a track of the team’s and other stakeholder’s information needs and this communications matrix is an important tool in the project manager’s toolbox.
Successful communications within projects takes many different forms and can include, emails, documents, face to face meetings, conference calls, web meetings, instant messages, to name but a few and today’s breed of online project management tools, like, 5pm, WORKetc and TeamLab can help to keep project teams and other interested parties in touch throughout the lifecycle of a project. Offering built-in facility for messaging, adding comments to documents and activities, automatic notifications for changes, amongst others, these cloud-based tools help to keep everyone connected and informed. For example, 5pm offers a wiki knowledge base, both internal and externally-available blogs, centralized sharing of files and documents, along with user correspondence that is held centrally within the project space.
Accessed over the internet, these online project management tools provide a centralized location for all project information and related documents, so everyone can have a single view of activities & progress. Centralized storage of documentation means the latest versions of project documents are available when they need to be and where additional project tools, such as, communications matrix, is created by the project manager, they can be uploaded and added to the other project artefacts, such as, the plan.
For more information about on demand, online, collaborative project management applications, please see: