Questions tagged [communication]

This tag includes questions about communication-related topics like information flow, meetings, and reporting; communications plan development and management; and challenges that a Project Manager or project team can face in regards to communication issues.

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40
votes
22answers
44k views

Is it bad manners or practice to request “Read Receipt” to all mails sent from my account?

I'm working as PM, we have developers and senior managers working remotely and in-house. As a project manager, I'm at the center of all communications. The job of managing N lines of communication ...
33
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I manage team distractions like chit-chat?

I work with a team of developers who are talented but often distract each other with chit-chat. They can waste hours of the day with these 20-30 minute, non-project related jam sessions. Since I am PM ...
27
votes
6answers
50k views

What makes an effective email status report? Why?

In project management, what criteria makes an effective email status report, and how often should a status report be sent to be useful?
26
votes
12answers
2k views

When and how to schedule effective meetings?

I'm the lead programmer turned project manager in a small shop. Our project has entered "the last 90%" phase where many things need to be communicated between different departments. This means many ...
25
votes
10answers
2k views

How to avoid being interrupted?

As a project manager, I think it's important to be heard. I find that many times, even when just meeting people, I am getting interrupted mid sentence. Can anyone out there provide tips on how to ...
25
votes
11answers
5k views

How to deliver bad news to a project sponsor?

Report Performance (especially if it is behind plans) is a responsibility of a project manager (according to PMBOK). Very often adequate and accurate reporting of insufficient performance will provoke ...
23
votes
6answers
7k views

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

I am a Scrum Master for a small team (8 devs). I have been having trouble getting engagement from many of the team members, especially the junior team members. My boss missed two retrospectives ...
22
votes
11answers
17k views

How can I map stakeholders without offending anyone?

I want to map the stakeholders on a project to help form a communication plan. The typical power vs. interest matrix (below) is very helpful, but I fear I can't store it in a document others may read....
22
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you deal with constant interruptions coming from outside the team?

As one of our teams was restructured completely (6 our of 8 new people in the last 2 months) and their knowledge base is now very weak, I notice constant daily interruptions from them. We share the ...
21
votes
13answers
16k views

Is it correct to refer to a 'post mortem' session even for successful projects?

It might be a silly question for non-latin speakers, but it's odd to hear about a post-mortem meeting for a successful project since this expression means 'after death'. I know that this can be also ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

How to apply daily stand-up meetings with a large team on multiple projects

Background There are: 4 .Net Developers 4 PHP Developers 2 QA Specialists 2 Integration Specialists 2 Analysts 3 PMs 11 Projects in active development. None are trivial. Some are programs with sub-...
21
votes
11answers
9k views

How to take minutes of meeting effectively?

I have one on one meetings with manager and senior members of our company. They raise points in meetings and I note down on paper. Can anyone tell me what are the formats to note minutes of meetings? ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Managing projects across time zones

When managing a project that involves participants across the globe, it is quite manageable for any two timezones to meet (someone will be at the end of their shift while someone is starting theirs), ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to over-communicate in project team?

Communication issues in projects are very common. Often the advice we give others or get from others is to communicate more and to be more transparent and most of the time it works. The question is ...
20
votes
10answers
9k views

What alternatives are there to a weekly status report to collect team members' progress on assigned work?

Each week I issue a personalised email to everyone in the business (there are only 17 of us) with the following headings: Can you provide a brief status report for this week based on your assigned ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How to Create Better Communicators on Your Team?

I work with a team who is distributed. Most of our staff works remotely. As a result, communication is much more important. The team consists of managers, supervisors, marketing personnel, web ...
18
votes
3answers
912 views

Motivating younger (Generation Y) members

I realize many articles have been written about generational differences in the workforce, but I'd like to know specific things you've done to help motivate younger team members. I belong to "...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Escalation to Leadership about senior management [closed]

Is it right to escalate to senior leadership (CEO) if you feel the senior management is not doing the right thing or basing the decisions based on personal preferences rather than the goals of the ...
16
votes
9answers
1k views

Number of people in a team that need to communicate with the client?

Is it more useful that all the people in a team to communicate with the client or should there be one person - i.e. the project manager that does all the communication and then informs the other ...
15
votes
9answers
1k views

Should I collect all the phones before a meeting?

It's no surprise that when a meeting is in place there are a select few that cannot seem to take their eyes off of their phone. I find that this distracts not only that one person, but it also ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

What Should a Project Manager Do If Development is Not Completed On Time?

I am a project manager of a development team. Oftentimes, the deadline for the development project is not met. About my team: I have 4 people in my team, and they are older than me. Sometimes I ...
15
votes
7answers
356 views

How to Virtually Co-Locate: Operating across two offices

Apologies if this is the incorrect exchange to post this on but none of the others seemed appropriate. We are currently investigating the possibility of opening a second office. We are a web ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

How should a project manager capture decisions?

As a project goes through the planning and design phases, many decisions will be made. To develop with technology X instead of technology Y. To leave feature z off of the plan for this version of the ...
15
votes
5answers
292 views

Communication Among Teams

What is the best way to communicate between project teams so that your staff feels "in the loop"? Context: I work in a small research center (about 40-50 researchers, statisticians, and support ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it the responsibility of a PM to terminate a failed project?

I'm not talking about the project closing process. Is it the responsibility of a project manager to recommend to senior leadership or the customer to prematurely terminate a project with no ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Daily stand-up with multiple Scrum teams

There are 3 Scrum teams (with ~15 people) whose work is tightly connected so it's necessary that teams to be up to date with the others' progress. How is it possible to exchange info between teams on ...
14
votes
5answers
670 views

Communicating non-viability of project

I'm a consultant usually brought in by companies doing project management on big projects, setting up operations etc. The last few years I have been dealing mainly with digital and creative agencies. ...
14
votes
4answers
263 views

Client has hard time focusing

I had a hard time trying to get the client to focus. X likes to talk a lot. Sometimes give too much information. Sometimes X talks x-self into circles and i forget what the question is. I try my ...
13
votes
3answers
53k views

What does person-month mean in development time?

I have a question about communication channels that is talking about person-month but I don't understand what is a person-month. Does it mean this many persons? or this many months? Here is the full ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

How to properly handle a team mate who rambles during daily standup and other meetings?

I am looking for a tactful way to help a team member improve their communication skills to be more concise and direct. I'm trying to introduce a daily standup into a startup team of 3, which will ...
13
votes
4answers
588 views

Should you insist on getting feedback from every member of your team?

In my current project team, I try to encourage an open atmosphere and discussions. In general, I have the impression that we are on a good road in that regard. The idea of a post-mortem after each ...
12
votes
3answers
785 views

How to manage clients who want to meet up all the time?

I have a client/shareholder who is more of a face-to-face kind of client. They can't grasp how to use email and phone to communicate project amendments and feedback. Instead, they wish to meet up ...
12
votes
4answers
446 views

Partially introduce Scrum into a team

The CEO of our small company (14) asked me to introduce some elements of Scrum into the working process of our development team. Problem is: the piece he would like to see introduced is not really ...
12
votes
5answers
417 views

PM learns deliverable is vaporware, team has been hiding it from the client & want PM to lie to client also.

I will TRY to keep this simple. I was brought on this project approx. 1/2 way through to fill the role of CM DB SME(20+yrs broad based experience). The PM (non-technical by his own admission) ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How to make sure a task assignment was clear?

I guess you know the situation, that with some of your colleagues you manage to establish a common way of communication right away (whatever you talk about is understood perfectly by the other one), ...
11
votes
4answers
273 views

Shall performance be reported to the project team?

Report Performance is one of the processes being done by a project manager in every project (according to PMBOK). Performance metrics have to be reported to a project control board in order to allow ...
11
votes
8answers
945 views

How do I foster communication in Project Meetings?

Context: I'll admit, I've recently transitioned to a PM role at a new company, and the atmosphere is slightly different than the previous firm I worked at. I was a 'Project Manager' (note the ...
10
votes
10answers
489 views

Should a Project Manager give new team members a document that defines the project?

I have recently joined an existing large, complex project to deliver some specific outputs. The only information that the PM gave me related directly to the part of the project that I am responsible ...
10
votes
6answers
396 views

How do I get my manager to understand that our project needs to stop here, and that we have to be on a new track?

Let's say, I've been working on a watch. This is your ordinary pocket watch, it has hands, gears, shows the time... About a month passes, and they want us to make this into a wrist-watch, still with ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Working with a “single point of contact”

I've often seen it recommended to include a "single point of contact" clause in the contract. This stipulates that all communication between a client company and your own company must be made between ...
10
votes
3answers
243 views

creating a process that works “without team members' realizing” makes a manager good or bad?

When I started to manage a team of software developers 3 years ago; I realized that there was no development process. First of all; i created 3 groups: backend, frontend and graphic design. After a ...
10
votes
3answers
392 views

Communicating weekly goals amid uncertainty

If a project's inherent uncertainty prevents accurate planning or resourcing of task effort more than a month into the future, how can project managers best communicate, coordinate, and track ...
9
votes
6answers
681 views

Allowing PMs to grade/rate developers

We're trying to introduce some new/updated ways to quantify developer productivity, and we want to include our Project Managers' thoughts. What do you think about allowing PMs to "grade" or apply ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Help me deal with a consultant that will not admit there is a problem

In the past, I have failed by not seeing problems as they occur - only seeing them after the fact. For example, I would take a status update at its face value, not realizing that the project was ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

When can a project's wrong estimates be justified?

This question is not about project estimation techniques, initial processes, etc. Assume everything was done correctly. Recently, we gave an estimation for an Android application with development ...
9
votes
3answers
950 views

How to handle a complex project without Tech Lead or Project Manager?

I am working on a complex project in Android alone. There is no tech lead or any project manager to guide me about the project development. I have to interact with the client and do the work according ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to facilitate communication and peer reviews on a distributed scrum team?

We have a Scrum team of 3 developers, a scrum master, and a product owner. Everyone works out of their home (except the product owner who works at his organization's headquarters). In the past, we ...
9
votes
6answers
298 views

Quicker Retrospectives? They are taking longer and are less effective now we are working from home because of COVID

I am after ideas to make things run more smoothly and more quickly. I have been using a combination of MS Teams and online tools like GroupMap and Stormz. But there are long pauses, and less to and ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Everyone wants to talk, but no one listens

I have met more than one time a situation where everyone wants to talk, but no one wants to listen. For example: Our team discusses where to go in our next team building trip. Our team discusses a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you plan for risks in your project's estimates?

I have been working on the risk-management topic in software development for a while. According to the different literature there could be knowns knowns (typical risks), known unknowns (product ...