Tuesday, February 24

Project Communication

Matt P makes some good points about project communication.

I agree with each of his four bullet points. And I would add that when they collectively fail, the #1 reason is that people aren't being honest with each other. Sometimes, consultants aren't honest with clients about lack of expertise or resources. Other times, someone on the client side isn't being honest with the consultant because of some defensiveness (they don't want to admit inability to get something done, or they're playing CYA).

The reality is that we're all human. Clients shouldn't expect consultants to be super heroes. And if both sides set realistic expectations and allow for faults, imperfections, and mistakes, it's much easier to achieve an honest dialog toward success. Consultants need to avoid both (1) the arrogant assumption that client personnel is less capable and (2) the assumption that client personnel should know everything they do. And clients need to be forgiving of human/imperfect consultants who can't possibly know everything about everything.

There is a very human side to project management. It's not just charts and methodology. It's about making the problems, roadblocks, and challenges expected and OK. ...instead of trying to cover them up. So, don't just have regular status meetings, demand open and honest dialog and create an environment where it's OK to make mistakes. It's all part of the process.

1 comment:

Matt Pollicove said...


You hit it squarely on the head! We are all human and prone to error in deed, speech and listening.

Anything we can do to reduce these errors should be done and open communication should be promoted.