Friday, July 15, 2016


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


  1. Garth,

    Great layout!
    You made great points in your post. The email does serve as documentation which will help Jane hold him accountable. Our text states, "When a person promises to do something, let others on the project team know about the promise. If the person fails to ilve up to the promise, let him or her know that this information will be shared with others as well (Portny, 2008)." Communicating through email does give him a direct way to reply. His reply serves as documentation for compliance or refusal as well.
    As a read over a few of the blog posts for this topic, I find it interesting how many of us choose different forms as being more effective. We all have different reasons for our thoughts, which probably stem from our own cultures, gender,communication styles, and experiences.

    Great post,
    Natasha A.

    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.

  2. Hello Garth,

    I agree with you that an email would have been a great option for delivering the message. However, after analyzing the three modalities I preferred to use face to face communication. Using this type of communication, a person can pick up on non verbal cues, which is facial expressions, hand gestures, body position and tone of voice which is not possible in an email (Laureate Education, n.d.). After communicating face to face, a person can then follow up with an email or even a phone call if needed.


    (Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture [Video file].

  3. Hi Garth,
    You made some very valid points that leave me wondering if the face-to-face modality is truly the best option. Like Pablo, I agree that an in-person communication allows the individuals to react to one anothers body language, tone, facial expressions, etc. In a written communication, the tone, formatting, and language used can easily be misinterpreted and taken out of context. For me, I still feel strongly about the face-to-face communication with a written formal follow up of the conversation for documenting purposes. You made a very valid point in that an initial communication allows the reader the time to formulate a response and react appropriately. My only concern to that is if the reader misunderstands the tone and decides not to respond out of spite or retaliation.
    Either way, I think you have made a strong case for the type of communication you prefer and I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    Best, Dennis

  4. Hi Garth. You have some great points. I personally feel that the best communication was in person, because the communication was able to minimize any misunderstandings. It was clear and they were able to respond right away with answers and questions to each other. I also understand and agree with you that even though it was an informal meeting, there needs to be documention so if I were Jane I would follow up the meeting with an email to serve as documentation.

    Great post!