Marketing Week Live

Successful project management through seamless communication practices

The only source of knowledge is experience. However when you run projects of any scale, collating the facts and figures of different project elements to ensure they can be clearly understood is critical. Poor project communication more often than not is the main reason behind falling short of the project targets and failed projects.

What is it that transforms the typical project management scenario into a well-thought out and lean project process with a well oiled communication process where all parties are in the loop because there simply is no ‘out of the loop’. 

Ardent knows how important communication is to any project – improving and developing communication to protect against poor project management.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of blaming the failure of an offshore projects on bad developers, poor project management or unprofessional organisations who don’t care for their client. While this can be true of buyers or clients who do not invest the required time and effort to do effective Due Diligence, – the cornerstone of any new partnership in any business – it’s too simple to point the finger. If you’ve taken time and effort to find the right partner for you, with a proven track record, trustworthy references, a standing invitation for you to visit them and meet the team and who also understand how your business works, you’re heading for success. 

But that’s only a part of the project management jigsaw: the biggest source of offshore project failure is the breakdown of communications or simply poor communication on both sides. 

At Ardent, we take project communications very seriously. We understand how critical it is to the smooth running of the project. To state it plainly – our emphasis on robust project communications is what ensures our project management delivers success. We’ve helped many different types and sizes of business to uplift their project communications – from unicorn startups to established blue chip organisations. At Ardent, we’ve found that the successful project communications comes through defining, creating and clearly understanding the multiple lines of project communication and people communication to build a strong project team to guarantee project success. 

When working out what the communication requirements are, we strip it right back to the basics. From the outset, we understood that much can be learnt from client feedback, from making mistakes and from the benefits of proactive thinking. We systematically work through the myriad of communication channels available to the end client and their project team. Only then do we choose which channel will work to its best advantage in every situation. It’s not a case of one size fits all, but a carefully tailored communications package. 

Every client we work with is different and distinct to each other. They have their own business culture, with their own unique way of running and delivering projects and project communication. At Ardent, we take the time to understand to understand how your client works before mapping this against the existing communication channels already established within your organisation to ensure your client can reach you and vice versa. When we’ve established strong communication links, we then look at the gaps that exist between your client’s project communication method and tools and yours. Then, we plug the gaps - real fast!

At Ardent, we take the opportunity to conduct our Project Communication Analysis and Goal Setting with our clients at the Discovery stage. This means that we’re both learning about each other while developing the methods that will enable the client to communicate seamlessly with their project teams. We also support the project teams in establishing day-to-day communication channels to ensure everything moves forward without unnecessary delays or hold ups. 

There’s two elements to the Open Communications Engagement phase that we setup with Ardent clients. 

One is Process, which includes regular weekly joint project stand ups and scrums with the client in-house team or project lead or owner. The weekly project reports and the two-weekly project release cycles keep stakeholders on top of progress, shored up by regular stakeholder meetings where we bring together key stakeholders on all sides to ensure everyone is on the same page and insure that both parties are meeting stakeholder expectations. 

The second element is The Tools. This is where we’ve made significant investment to give our clients complete visibility, accessibility and control over their projects and project teams. We started by installing a fully integrated telephone system across our offices worldwide, so our clients call a local number to speak to their team or project managers. We also use team collaboration tools, such as Slack, Confluence or Skype for Business, to work with our clients in the way that they want to be worked with. Each and every team member of the project team in equipped with the channels that they need to connect with or respond to client questions with ease and alacrity. At Ardent, we believe that this lies at the heart of a two-way dialogue. 

Conclusion

Our reputation is important to us. While we like to be seen as the best in the business, we also recognise that a company who promises great project management solutions is only as good as our own communication systems. We constantly assess our own channels and processes to make sure that we’re there when you need us and that we can make sure that you’re there when your client needs you. Together, we deliver success.