Improving Project Communication – A Guide for Project Managers

The PMBOK states that a project manager spends 90% of their time communicating. But a mere exchange of words doesn’t really contribute or lead to project successes. Project managers must be clear and precise, clearly explaining the goals and the expected results to the entire team.

PMBOK also states that project communication can be termed effective only when the required information is available in the right format and at the right time to the audience and creates the right impact. Sounds complicated? Online project management software is often used for improving project communication. When used throughout and by all team members, project success becomes more likely. 

But tools alone aren’t enough and project managers must also play their part in improving project communication.

Focus on the 3 W’s of Project Communication


Decide who will utilize the information. A stakeholder, a project team member or everyone involved? Decide who the best recipients are and accordingly, decide a tone and message. Refer to the communication plan for other details about useful strategies and preferred methods for receiving information.


What do you want to communicate: a performance report, a performance review or something else? Is the incident a one-off occurrence or happens weekly? Once you have the answers, decide the best communication channel. Generally, an update can be shared over email, but if it’s an urgent or high priority incident, you should use a phone call or video call.


Come up with a timeline, outlining what to discuss and when. Stick to this throughout the project duration. For instance, stakeholders would only require weekly or biweekly updates, whereas team members should be informed of their tasks daily. An online project management software can also generate automatic reports, which streamline communication.

Be Clear and Concise

Whenever you communicate, keep it brief and stick to only the essentials. Don’t spend too much time because there are already many tasks on everyone’s to-do list, including yours!  So utilize the KISS (Keep It Simple and Short) concept when communicating.

Listen Actively

One of the best ways for improving project communication is letting others have a say and actively listening to their opinions. This is particularly helpful when certain issues have to be resolved. So let everyone on the team speak up even if they’re a junior member.

Ensure That the Message Has Been Understood

The same message can be interpreted differently. You may have done your part, but if the recipient doesn’t understand the information, it wouldn’t be of any use. Ensure that the message has been understood correctly by the client. Ask questions and clear any confusion which the recipients may have.

Utilize Online Project Management Software

Even if there are only 2 recipients of the message, an update should still be pushed through the online project management software so that everyone is abreast of ongoing progress. Don’t share anything confidential, but do include a short note on the Project Updates page or elsewhere.

The above techniques are simple, but they can significantly improve project communication. So always keep them in mind when handling projects.