Modalities for formal communication

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If you're communicating to stakeholders in a formal setting, here are the types of communication modes you should employ:

i Presentations: Throughout your software project management career you'll likely have to get up in front of your stakeholders and present the project plan, the status of the project, or serious issues that creep into the project. Sometimes a PowerPoint presentation can help you to make your point, and at other times PowerPoint can be a distraction. The secret to a good presentation is to be prepared, speak with authority, and put your audience at ease.

i Reports: We once heard a project manager say, "If it's in writing, then it's formal communication." We agree with the statement, for the most part. Your reports, from status to quality control, are formal. Take time to ensure the accuracy of the data you present, not to mention your grammar.

i Conference/phone calls: Some of your stakeholders and team members may be dispersed all over the world, so the most efficient way to communicate with them is via conference calls. When you communicate using the telephone, remember that others cannot see your facial expressions to help determine your emotions. Keep the communication clear and thorough so as to not leave a lot of room for interpretation.

i E-mail: E-mail can be a form of formal communication in some environments. In software project management you're dealing primarily with folks that are IT-savvy and will rely heavily on e-mail. If you're presenting formal communications through e-mail, write it just as you'd put it in a letter. Leave out the emoticons, jokes, and asides. And then save your e-mail, attachments, and any responses.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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