Communication plays such a vital role in the success of any project. This role of communication most times falls directly on the project manager. Portny et al., (2008) states “the key to successful project management is effective communication—sharing the right messages with the right people in a timely manner. Through communication people exchange and share information with one another, and influence one another’s attitudes, behaviors, and understandings” (p.357). The message that Jane communicated to Mark carried different meanings across different modalities of communication. Even the message was the same, the modality directly impacted how that message might be received. Jane chose to communicate informally in person, over the phone and formally over email. The message was the same, but the best option that Jane chose was over email for a variety of reasons.
When Jane communicated informally in person, Mark might have been working on a project or preoccupied with something before Jane walked up. Also a key point to understand is that just because something is shared in person doesn’t always mean it will be understood or applied (Portny et al., 2008). Jane would also need to document that informal conversation she had with Mark, which could have been done, but it is much harder in an informal meeting. The phone call was a good approach, but it was hard to see and document the words she was trying to communicate.
If Mark is as busy as Jane suggests, then she needed to adjust her communication to fit the person (Portny et al., 2008). This is why email was the best approach. In the email Jane explained “what” she needed, “why” she needed and “when” she needed the missing report. The tone was respectful, but also assertive to keep the project moving in the correct direction. The written form of communication was also able to also allow the recipient space to form a response, which will minimize the chance of miscommunication. Portny et al., (2008) states that, “to minimize the chances for misunderstandings and hurt feelings, project managers should do the following: Confirm in writing the important information that was shared in informal discussions” (p.357).
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu