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María Paula Zapata Muñoz 1 article
Residence: US Salt Lake City, Utah
Industrial Engineer & Business Administrator

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The Unified Project Management Dictionary


Opportunity is a type of risk that could have a potentially positive impact on one or more project objectives and that must be taken advantage of.

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Communication in Project Management

Communication works like glue, it keeps relationships and team members tied together. This skill plays an enormous role in successful project management. In fact, The Project Management Institute(2013) suggests that a project manager spends around 90% of their time communicating with different people, personalities, perspectives, and cultures since the beginning until the end (para.1). This number represents the importance of developing through education and practice, the skill that could be considered as the most used by any project manager. 

Project Management Institute, Inc. (2013). Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: The High Cost of Low Performance: The Essential Role of Communications. Retrieved from https://2020projectmanagement.com/resources/communication-management/communication-the-key-to-successful-project-management

Communication is fundamental in Project Management; nevertheless, it has to be effective in order to have a positive result. Statistically, one out of five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communications (para.1) Mitigating common mistakes, developing effective strategies, and applying those will foster teamwork, allowing the project to accomplish its goals within time, scope, and costs. 

In order to effectively communicate with others mitigating common mistakes, developing strategies, and applying those will foster teamwork, allowing projects to accomplish their goals within time, scope, and costs. Having established clear objectives and scope since the beginning of the project will help diminish the time and mistakes like: not differentiating stakeholders needs, assuming too much or too little of stakeholders, overlooking cultural differences, and not recognizing that communication needs change over time (Cervone, 2014, p.76). Therefore, communication does not only promote a better working environment but also reduces delays and mistakes. 

Some mistakes might also include over-communicating with stakeholders or team members. Finding the correct frequency between too much or too little communication will keep members connected (Abudi, 2013, para.7). Understanding stakeholders, their cultural backgrounds, needs and expectations, and the way they want to receive communication, allows breaking down barriers while enabling a transparent dialogue where everyone is committed and aware of the projects progress.

Moreover, communication has to go beyond physical and verbal interaction. Thus, selecting the right tools to communicate will be significantly meaningful to manage efficiently tasks completion without sacrificing quality. Consequently, the impact that technology has had nowadays, has provided a more dynamic environment; however, it has to be used adequately to enable effective communication (Abudi, 2013, para.2). Even though there has been a dramatic change towards email and electronic communication in projects; face-to-face interaction is still the most preferred communication type. 

Similarly, effective listening is unquestionably an important portion of communications. To clearly understand what others are communicating, active listening should come first. Body language and eye contact are imperative to active listening, for it shows a genuine interest and engagement to what someone is saying (“Communication the Key,” n.d). Poor listening skills may contribute to the creation of barriers between stakeholders that will undoubtedly have negative repercussions within a project. Promoting a space where listening is essential will generate an atmosphere of trust that will create more solid relationships, encourage innovation, and build teams.

Any manager should be able to communicate effectively with team members. According to Barrow, when leading a project, various soft skills are required, but fundamentally communication is essential to succeed. Daily tasks require talking to different people with particular perspectives and points of view; and it is not only necessary but mandatory to be able to communicate effectively with others (Barrow, personal communication, February, 21, 2019). Developing multiple soft skills, intrinsically communication has been a key factor for many successful project managers. 

In the last decades, many companies have adopted seriously this skill in their strategies to improve their productivity through more committed employees. Indeed, there is not a particular way to communicate information, and that is why project managers have to decide the type, content, and frequency of their communication with stakeholders and team members. Certainly, there must be a balance on what works best for all stakeholders to provide the correct information and communicate only what is necessary to each one. To become a successful project manager in today’s society, honing and mastering communication skills is not only necessary but required.


Abudi, G. (2013). Managing communications effectively and efficiently. Retrieved from https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/managing-communications-effectively-efficiently-5916

Cervone, H. F. (2014). Effective communication for project success. OCLC Systems & Services, 30(2), 74–77. https://doi.org/10.1108/OCLC-02-2014-0014

Communication the Key to Successful Project Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://2020projectmanagement.com/resources/communication-management/communication-the-key-to-successful-project-management

Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of María Paula Zapata Muñoz
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2019-04-06]