When project management is discussed by project managers it is not very long before the topic of communications comes up. Communications management is the process that allows for the timely and appropriate generation and dissemination of information.

The communications model consists of a sender and a receiver. The sender thinks of what must be communicated, encodes the communication, and transmits it to the receiver. The receiver perceives the message, decodes it, and understands the meaning of the message. If there is insufficient meaning in the message, the receiver can communicate feedback to the sender.

There are many barriers to communications. These serve to inhibit the communication from occurring in an optimal way. The barriers can be overcome by using good communications techniques.

There are many types of communications and many channels through which communications flow. Verbal and nonverbal communications are appropriate at some times and not others. It is important that the proper type of communication be used. A method for communicating that may work well in one situation may not work well in another.

Formal and informal communications are important in project management. Many times the project manager is required to make formal presentations to customers and stakeholders in the project. Good presentation skills are necessary in a good project manager.

The other half of communication is listening. A good project manager must also have good listening skills. These can be improved by following good listening habits.

Network techniques and management by walking around allow for the collection of good information.

One of the problems that occurred in project management when matrix management was first tried was performance reviews being mishandled by project managers. Performance reviews of everyone on the project team are extremely important and necessary. These reviews can be as simple as both the manager and the subordinate periodically adding their comments to a sheet of paper and making copies for one another.

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