Good communication between a project manager and his or her project team, clients and subcontractors has always been an important aspect of successful project management. There are tons of blogs out there on how to improve project communication, and many project failures can often be attributed to poor communication between the project team. Project management is as much about good communication as it is about good management.
But as little as five or ten years ago, project communication was difficult for teams with employees in different locations, or constantly out in the field. One of our clients even told us of their managing director using an analogue phone connected to a fax machine in his car in order to stay in communication with the team!
But now with developments in smart phone technology, cloud computing and instant messaging, virtual communication is moving project communication forward in leaps and bounds. Technology such as cloud computing has enabled the development IPM Cloud, an online project management software solution where teams in a number of different locations can all connect to the same project database, collaborate with one another and communicate easily with tight email integration.
The popularity of smart phones is also rapidly increasing, with demand expected to grow by almost 50% this year, according to IDC. And given the fact that you can access IPM on your smart phone, communication between team members is now easier than ever. Thanks to smart phones, travel between the field and the office, and commuting to and from work are now no longer leeches of time, but opportunities to catch up on any communication with your team members, subcontractors or customers.
Of course, this constant stream of virtual communication can also have negative effects on teams with problems of over communication, expectations of instantaneous responses and an overreliance on non face-to-face communication. That’s why if you do implement virtual communication within your team, it’s also important to set a few guidelines for how your team members can interact using virtual communication. And while nothing beats good old fashioned face to face time, virtual communication is also facilitating other ways of communicating in project management that were never possible before. If it’s used to complement and enhance your face to face communication, virtual communication can put your project team ahead of your less tech savvy competitors.
If you’d like to know more about IPM Cloud and the benefits of virtual communication, feel free to contact us for a free demo.