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Effective communication is essential to the success of projects, programmes, and portfolios

In our last four blogs we’ve discussed some core skills that will help teams to improve the way they manage projects, programmes, and portfolios. And in this one we’re going to outline why good communication skills are essential.

Why should your teams develop communication skills?

Good communication skills are important for a lot of roles across the public sector and other organisations alike. But when it comes to public sector projects, programmes and portfolios, there are some specific key benefits that improving communication skills within teams will have. As they often involve numerous internal and external stakeholders, large budgets, long delivery lead times and have a big impact on the public, economy, environment and more…

These include:

  • Helping to prevent timeline delays: clear communications ensure that the different stakeholders know what’s expected of them and by when
  • Ensuring that stakeholders are engaged: communicating with stakeholders effectively will ensure they are invested, and bought into what is trying to be achieved
  • Avoiding project failure: effective communications will make sure teams are coordinated, understand how to share information, manage issues, and collaborate

The benefits of building good communication skills

Clear and effective communications are the backbone of a successful project, and pivotal in helping you do more with less. This is because it allows you to outline project requirements and plans clearly, define roles and responsibilities, reduce misunderstandings, prevent errors, and increase overall efficiency.

The success of a project, programme, or portfolio also hinges on clear, open and effective communication between you, your cross-functional teams and your stakeholders. Without this, you’re more likely to see misunderstandings and mistakes, lack of alignment on goals and objectives and poor task execution, which ultimately decreases efficiency.

By clearly communicating the strategy, objectives, tasks and responsibilities with all relevant parties, and creating an environment where they can seamlessly collaborate and perform their roles, productivity will be boosted. You’ll also give stakeholders the tools and insights they need to make big project decisions and minimise potential pushback.

Some signs that your teams need to improve their communication skills

Here are some potential signs to look out for:

  • Misunderstandings and errors: Teams frequently misinterpret messages and communications causing them to make mistakes during execution
  • Lack of alignment: Teams and stakeholders often lack clarity on how tasks align with project goals and objectives
  • Limited collaboration: Individuals opt to work independently and neglect to share learnings and information with the wider team
  • Stakeholder dissatisfaction: Stakeholders take a long time to make key decisions and outcomes frequently fall short of their expectations

How can ILX help?

Our Learning Hub is a complete digital learning solution for all your project, programme, and portfolio management training needs. Watch our webinar ‘Maximising Efficiency Key project management skills to help you do more with less’ to learn more about the importance of good communication, and how the ILX Learning Hub can support you and your team.