For any type of project to be successful, good communication skills are vital for both managers and team members. Up to 56% of all projects fail due to poor communication, regardless of the niche industry, according to their figures. Scope creep, which affects as many as 45% of all projects, is also a common problem due to lack of communication between different members. When everyone on a project team keeps open lines of communication and makes sure everyone is on the same page, up to 80% of projects are completed successfully and within the original allocated budget.
On a larger scale, at least $1 billion per year is spent on project management, and studies have shown that up to $75 million of that budgeted money is at real risk of being lost due to ineffective communication. Businesses with highly effective levels of communication spend up to 13% less on each project.
For us as project managers, taking steps like making objectives clear, providing clarification when needed, and providing useful feedback can improve communication among all group members. Adjusting spoken and written communication styles is also important when working with a project team, especially when you’re trying to communicate up.
A formalized and well-organized communication plan (get a free comms plan template here) will help this process along as well, and it help you prepare for the unexpected. It also allows managers to become more comfortable communicating with employees.
Clearer communication sees the highest success rates when project managers take a proactive approach to conveying information, listening to feedback, and recognizing the need for open lines of communication among everyone involved in an organization’s projects.
Updated 2021: Unfortunately the infographic that was originally in this article is no longer available.