Communication is key to the success of any project. and it drives everything we do. In our organization, communication flows freely in all directions – up, down and across the organization. For starters, we do not uphold a rigid hierarchy of positions. Those project structures tend to incur one-dimensional information flows that lead to less than optimal results. With a flat organizational structure, our work environment fosters open communication.
In fact, the comprehensiveness of our communication may be a surprise for new clients. Our experience has demonstrated repeatedly: consistent, open, and proactive communication leads to better results.
Designating Open Lines of Communication from Day Minus One
Effective communication helps us stay on top of emerging issues and anticipate problems. We build communication into our processes and structure.
As standard practice, we insist on a kickoff meeting, meeting agendas and meeting notes. We also create a unique communication flow chart. The communication flow chart lays down the communication infrastructure, so everyone knows who will direct their activities, who they can approach with problems first and who they can approach if the first attempt does not lead to a solution.
Taking the Initiative with Equipment Suppliers
We insist on scheduling regular meetings with equipment suppliers. Time and again, experience has validated this practice. Technical discrepancies and delayed shipments are easily identified, and we have the opportunity to manage those problems before they snowball.
Although our approach is proactive, it does not waste resources. The project manager does not need to meet with the technical team for every meeting; however, key decisions made during those meetings do need to be communicated.
There is a common saying: “Fix a problem in the office for $10; fix it during installation for $100; fix it afterwards for $1,000.” By facilitating thorough and flexible communication, we identify issues in the office. Then, we solve the problem before it has the potential to incur significant penalties and minimizes the risk for all stakeholders. By keeping communications as efficient as possible, our project managers ensure the extra time and effort will pay off.