16 Types of Project Communication Identified & Explained

16 Types of Project Communication Identified & Explained
16 Types of Project Communication Identified & Explained

Project Communication is exchange of project information.  Purpose of project communication is to meet the communication needs of stakeholders; A project manager spends about 90% of his time communicating.  Project communication may be:

  1. Internal Communication with stakeholders within the project and within the organization
  2. External. Communication with external stakeholders such as customers, vendors, other projects, organizations, govt, the public, and environmentalists
  3. Formal/Official. Controlled Communication conforming to prescribed organizational rules and standards
  4. Spoken words, voice inflections, perilingual
  5. Nonverbal. Gestures, facial expressions, and Body language and actions
  6. Informal/unofficial
  7. Written Communication
  8. Formal, Informal, Written & Verbal
  9. Effective Listening is paying attention to the message Sender’s gestures and facial expressions and trying to focus on the content of the message without distraction. Purpose is to understand fully what is being said
  10. Active Listening is confirming listening to the Sender by expressing agreement or disagreement and asking for clarification when necessary; purpose is to understand fully what is being said and to assure/convey to the Sender that he is being understood
  11. Interactive Communication is a reciprocal method involving two or more people. One person provides information; others receive it and then respond to the information
  • Conversations, phone calls, meetings, IM, VC, video calls
  1. Push Communication involves a one-way stream of information. The sender provides info to the people who need it but does not expect feedback from the recipients
  • Project status reports, emails, biogs, memos, letters, reports, faxes, uploading
  1. Pull Communication also involves one-way stream of information.
  • Internet sites, data bases, downloading, placing data on cloud and sharing the link with the recipients to retrieve it
  1. Communication Channel is an imaginary line or link along which information flows between a sender and a receiver. The maximum number of channels in a project with n stakeholders is n(n-1)/2
  • With 4 stakeholders, the maximum number of channels will be 6
  1. Communication Blocker is any act which adversely affects or cuts off communication.
  • Accusing, Insulting, Rudeness, Judging, Threatening, Ordering, Interrupting, Sarcasm, Cross-Talking, etc. Blocking regularly exercised on social media
  1. Communication Barrier is a difficulty in communicating in any organization.
  • Language, cultural diversity, gender differences, complexes(inferiority/superiority), status differences, physical separation
16 Types of Project Communication Identified & Explained
16 Types of Project Communication Identified & Explained
Formal, Informal, Written & Verbal

These types of Communication are typically used in combination as follows:

  • Formal Written used for Project Management Plan, other formal documentation (such as the Project Charter), and Reports; can be both physical & electronic
  • Formal Verbal used for Planned Meetings & Stakeholder Briefings; can be Face-to-face or Remote (video-linked)
  • Informal Written used for Email, handwritten notes, text messages, instant messaging, social media, and websites
  • Informal Verbal used for Unscheduled Briefings, Conversations, and other casual discussions
Typical Examples of Communication Types & Situations
  1. Changes to any Project Document or Contract – It’s a Formal written type communication
  2. Giving presentations to management – Formal verbal
  3. Informing a team member about poor performance (1stnotice) – Formal verbal
  4. Informing a team member about poor performance (2ndnotice) – Formal written
  5. Scheduling a meeting – Informal written
  6. Clarifying a work package – Formal written/Informal verbal (depending on how the clarification was sought)
  7. Requesting additional resources – Formal written
  8. Holding a milestone party – Informal verbal

Conducting an online bidder conference – Formal verbal (VLC) & Formal written (MOM)

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