Project managers have to communicate effectively with stakeholders and other team members. It will be difficult for them to communicate when they don’t have adequate time or when they can’t make everyone attend the meeting.
Below are six useful ways to communicate effectively when you have no sufficient time for meetings:
● Create a communication list with minimum stakeholders.
● Organize the minimum communication that you can do.
● Call up the difficult stakeholders.
● Bring about email updates better.
● Aim to toss out real-time comms.
● Report by exception.
Let’s go into detail one by one.
1. Create a communication list with minimum stakeholders: Create a stakeholder list. Identify those who aren’t important to the success of your project. Drop a message to them saying that you are glad to update them and that they just have to be in touch whenever required.
Stop contacting them and cross them off your list. You can also contact them infrequently about major stuff. Now talk to those stakeholders left on your list. Ask them what they need to know and how they need to know it. The most practical people will identify that they won’t be able to tell that they wish to learn about the project details, refuse to connect, and then argue that they know nothing.
2. Organize the minimum communication that you can do: Establish the minimum percentage of communication that you could do to get away with. May be:
● Ensuring that people have the information required for directing the project.
● Ensuring that the key stakeholders/sponsor are familiar with the topics that you require support with.
● Ensuring that they know about the decisions they want to make so that you can take your project forward.
Map the minimum communication list made by you to the appropriate people and ways of communication. Then take that as the source for your project communications plan.
3. Call up the difficult stakeholders: Difficult stakeholders are those who have challenging behavior. Separate those who display such behavior and give them special attention. It’s better not to have meetings if you have no time for committed stakeholder meetings.
You already recognize those stakeholders who exhibit difficult behavior. It’s simpler to talk to such stakeholders one on one when you can’t foresee their reaction.
Make time and call up such stakeholders individually. Give 15 minutes to each of them at least.
4. Bring about the email updates better: Emails aren’t a black hole. Emails will be read when they are targeted, short, and people know their designation before they open.
Email status updates include:
● Tasks accomplished that week.
● Tasks are due for completion in the coming week.
● Other things of concern.
You can include the word “Dear” at the beginning of the mail of status updates and send it with your email signature. The status updates can be color-coded to make them easy to read for lazy readers. The format can be tweaked to suit you. Your emails will be opened if people are interested or else they won’t.
5. Aim to toss out real-time comms: When you send a message at one time and it is received at a varied time, then it is called asynchronous communication. For instance, If a webinar is recorded first and then played back by the participants later.
You could try the following if you like to consider it:
● A newsletter (you have to work a lot but still they might not read it)
● A monthly report (Prepare a presentation rather than the document with a slide highlighting the key points)
● A dashboard functionality has to be set up for the project management software. Provide the access to them so that they can have a glance when required (They might never look at it)
6. Report by exception: A better way to convey effectively when you have no time for amenities is to accept that you will report by yourself to specific stakeholders by exception. You may realize that with all this effort and reflection that people don’t mind listening to regular updates.