Running your own business often means you have to take on different roles each day. From social media guru to product picker, you need to be able to adapt with ease. But one of the most challenging roles you are likely to take on is that of a project manager. If your company provides a service, customers will frequently approach you with project ideas. It will be your responsibility to bring this idea to life and manage it from start to finish. This will involve communicating with both your client, vendors and your employees. Keeping everyone informed is vital if you want the final outcome to be a resounding success. But if you’ve never had to project manage before, you might be unsure how to do this effectively. Here are some communication methods that every project manager, both experienced or not should use.
Use the Cloud
Technology is something that no business can do without, particularly during projects. It allows you to streamline your processes and get faster and efficient results. But it also makes it easier to communicate with your client and team. You could send weekly emails to your client updating them on your progress. Instant messaging can be used within your office to share files and get updates from your staff. There is also video calling, which is helping business rediscover the benefits of in-person meetings. But the one piece of technology every project manager should be using is the Cloud.
The Cloud is a series of networks that allow you to store and access files and data online, rather than on a computer hard drive. This means that multiple users can access documents such as project proposals from different devices. This makes it easier to communicate, share ideas and divide the workload easily. It also saves time and as everything you need is securely saved in one location. So search for cloud-based tools such as Client Portal Software online for ideas on what you should be using.
Arrange Regular Meetings
While you will understandably have other business tasks to attend to, make time in your schedule for project meetings. But make sure they are in person if possible. While emails and conference calls are often easier, meeting your team face to face can be extremely beneficial. It allows you to build relationships with your employees and your client and increase trust. You can communicate ideas with each other and discuss what changes need to be made. Virtual messaging can also occasionally be translated incorrectly causing confusion and errors. Whereas meeting in person can prevent this from happening. These meetings should be held at least once a week to keep everyone updated with the progression of the project.
However, while regular in-person meetings are recommended, to be worthwhile, they need to have a structure. Ideally, they should be no longer than an hour, which should give everyone a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. Organize an agenda and remember to include time to discuss any possible concerns that you or your client may have too. You should also assign someone to make notes for anyone who is unable to attend.
Be As Clear As Possible
Whether you’re writing a message or talking on the phone, it’s vital that you are as clear as possible. Being too vague can make it difficult for your employees or vendors to know what you require of them. This can add additional time to the project as well as increasing the risk of mistakes. It is unlikely that you client will appreciate these hold ups or want to spend money rectifying your mistakes. So consider how you can get your point across more effectively.
You could use bullet points that summarize all the relevant information you need to share a message or presentation. You can write prompts during phone calls to help you stay focused and on the topic. In addition to making sure you are a clear communicator, you should also encourage your client and team to follow your lead. That way you will always be on the same page as each other.
Your company’s reputation relies on the results of the projects that you complete. If done well, your clients will return to you in future and recommend you to others. But if not, your brand can be damaged which could put potential clients off from working with you. While there is no guarantee that a project will work out, communication increases your chances tenfold. So take what you have learned from this guide to become an excellent communicator and project manager.