Project Communication and Management - What's in Your Toolbox?


In his recent article for Forbes, titled "Interpersonal And Interdepartmental Communication: How to Effectively Manage Team Projects," internet marketing consultant Pawel Kijko stressed the importance of communication on project success, both at the individual and interdepartmental levels.

While communication itself isn't a new topic, Kijko delves into specific points that speak to today's complex, digital environments, including strengthening interpersonal communication and addressing the information flow across disparate departments with disparate working cultures. 

One key to this, says Kijko, is choosing the right tools for the right job.

I couldn't agree more.

Task-driven collaboration is a different animal than high level project, portfolio, and resource planning and management, and each have their own set of unique needs.

Departments may use collaboration tools like Slack, and maybe even specialized work tracking software. It's how people work.

From an overall planning and management standpoint (I'm talking about organizational resource planning, portfolio management, and even project management), that's where it's beneficial to have a single, consolidated tool that allows for aligning the organization's projects and people with its strategies, goals, and priorities. This includes rolling up data to the program and strategy levels for a bird's-eye view of financials, status, risk, and feasibility.

It's how organizations plan and manage and gain business agility.

The two (collaboration and planning/management) aren't mutually exclusive, and both can benefit from their own specialized toolsets.  Of course, many PPM and resource planning tools also have task level project scheduling and time-tracking, but even that's not at the granular collaboration level of everyday details.

Besides, I've advised clients for years not to make their project schedules overly granular, but rather have it deliverable-focused, including milestones and key inter and intra-project dependencies, letting people collaborate on the details of the "how" using the tools of their choice. 

Indeed, collaboration tools can be a huge asset when used in combination with a good portfolio and resource management system, which itself provides the communication needed to keep everyone aligned at a higher level. So, what's in your toolbox?

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Jerry Manas is the bestselling author of The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook, Napoleon on Project Management, and more. At PDWare, Jerry helps clients improve strategy execution through tools and processes that align people and work with organizational priorities. Connect with Jerry on Twitter and LinkedIn