How Can Clear Communication Prevent Potential Project Setbacks?


    How Can Clear Communication Prevent Potential Project Setbacks?

    In the complex world of project management, CEOs and directors know that clear communication is key to avoiding pitfalls. From adapting communication to cultural nuances to facilitating understanding between teams, we've compiled nine expert insights that showcase how transparency and clarity can avert potential project setbacks.

    • Adapt Communication to Cultural Nuances
    • Ban Corporate Jargon for Clarity
    • Transparency Mitigates Errors
    • Streamline Recruitment Communication
    • Face-to-Face Meetings Clarify Deadlines
    • Transparent Updates Prevent Setbacks
    • Clarify Deadlines to Realign Teams
    • Establish Clear Requirements
    • Facilitate Understanding Between Teams

    Adapt Communication to Cultural Nuances

    Something from early in my career was learning that you really want to read things out loud to yourself before sending something to a project team that doesn't speak the same language as you. The reason this was important is that I communicate in what I would consider a fairly neutral tone, being Polish, and the team in question was in France.

    They are used to more effusive language and tended to take my standard form of communication as though I was displeased with them, which led to some tension and potential problems in the project. Since then, I find it best to read things out loud to myself as it helps to understand the flavor of the content a bit better to ensure it is taken in the spirit I intend.

    Kate Kandefer
    Kate KandeferCEO, SEOwind

    Ban Corporate Jargon for Clarity

    A few years back, I implemented a 'No Corporate Jargon' policy. Business speak tends to be contagious, and letting the habit grow risks trite phrases taking over the office.

    Most of these euphemisms are just an easy out. Real analysis and discourse take effort and can feel uncomfortable, but in the long run, it is a way more effective way to relate.

    I learned that my team was more than capable of articulation, and I believe this policy helped us avoid miscommunications on big projects. At one point, I went back and looked at the data, and most past failures occurred when someone needed to speak bluntly but avoided the necessary discussion.

    Rob Reeves
    Rob ReevesCEO and President, Redfish Technology

    Transparency Mitigates Errors

    One of our employees made an error that was about to cause a delay. Since we manufacture and sell our products, the bottleneck would have had a domino effect. The employee could have said nothing. In fact, in that particular situation, he could have gotten away without taking any responsibility, because it would have been hard for us to identify who had done it. However, this is where some people really shine. The moment the error happened, he went straight to his direct line manager and reported it. That lack of hesitation to be transparent, to communicate even if it could potentially have repercussions, helped us mitigate most of the potential damage. It gave us the time we needed to come up with a solution.

    This is where communication is so foundational to a successful operation. Anyone can make an error. Being able to communicate about it, be proactive in finding and implementing solutions, and being willing to reach out to superiors, that is what makes a great team member and a great team.

    Will Baker
    Will BakerDirector, Skirtings R Us

    Streamline Recruitment Communication

    One that comes to mind for me has to do with recruitment during a high-growth period. Recruitment takes a while at the best of times, and I needed to recruit internationally for various geographies, which was a whole different kettle of fish. Minimizing back-and-forth so that we could pounce on appropriate talent before they were snapped up by someone else in what was, at the time, an extremely fast-growing industry (hybrid workforce management during COVID) was crucial. A clear timeline, simple yes/no answers, and a recruitment roadmap were all necessary and put in place to good effect, a practice that I have continued after the hiring crunch was over.

    Dragos Badea
    Dragos BadeaCEO, Yarooms

    Face-to-Face Meetings Clarify Deadlines

    In a website redesign project for a client, there was a mix-up regarding the content delivery date. To avoid a failed experience, I requested a face-to-face meeting with the client to amend the expectations and discuss the need for sticking to deadlines. We stressed the importance of cogent communication and clear objectives, which helped reduce project time delays. Therefore, the project was finished on time, and the customer praised the outcome.

    The subsequent events showed me how critical advance communication is and that the problem of misunderstandings must be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid project delays. It emphasized the significance of constant dialogue with customers, expressing the need to coordinate and avoid risk mechanisms that could hinder the success of the project.

    Kartik Ahuja
    Kartik AhujaDigital Marketer,

    Transparent Updates Prevent Setbacks

    Our team was tasked with developing a new software application for a client within a tight deadline. One day, I noticed technical challenges that could delay the delivery timeline. So, to prevent a potential setback, our project manager initiated clear and transparent communication with the client.

    Instead of waiting until the last minute, we provided regular updates on the project status. It included all the issues and obstacles we encountered. We presented a detailed view of the challenges we were facing. We also discussed proposed solutions and their potential impact on the project timeline.

    Thanks to the open and honest communication with the client, we were able to collaborate effectively to address the challenges and remove potential setbacks. I learned the importance of clear and transparent communication. It prevents misunderstandings and maintains alignment on project goals.

    Saikat Ghosh
    Saikat GhoshAssociate Director of HR & Business, Technource

    Clarify Deadlines to Realign Teams

    During the launch of a new travel package, our team faced a major misunderstanding regarding the deadline, causing panic. Realizing the confusion, I immediately organized a meeting to clarify the timeline and responsibilities. This clear communication not only calmed the team but also realigned our efforts, ensuring the project stayed on track.

    From this experience, I learned the critical importance of clear, direct communication in preventing misunderstandings that can derail projects. It taught me to regularly check in with my team, ensuring everyone understands their tasks and deadlines.

    This approach has since become a cornerstone of our project management strategy, significantly reducing setbacks and fostering a more cohesive and efficient team environment.

    Swena Kalra
    Swena KalraChief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

    Establish Clear Requirements

    Clear communication is critical to the success of any project, and I have experienced this firsthand in my work as a serial entrepreneur. In one instance, I was working on a project with a team of software engineers, and we encountered a technical issue that could have potentially derailed the project if not addressed quickly and effectively. The issue was that we were working on a particularly complex feature, and there was a lack of clear communication between myself and the engineers about the specific requirements and expectations for this feature.

    As a result, the engineers were not able to implement the feature as I had envisioned it, and the project was at risk of falling behind schedule. To address this issue, we held a meeting to discuss the issue and ensure that there was clear communication about the requirements and expectations for the feature. We also established a protocol to ensure that there would be ongoing communication between myself and the engineers throughout the project.

    Matthew Ramirez
    Matthew RamirezFounder, StudyNova

    Facilitate Understanding Between Teams

    During a risk assessment meeting for a software update, our financial team expressed concerns about the cost implications if the timeline extends. I noticed the tech team was slightly taken aback. I got them all together for a meeting, asked our tech guys to break down the steps in layman's terms, and explained the financial team's concerns. The tech team understood the urgency, and the financial team grasped the technicalities. This opened up dialogue—an antidote for setbacks. It became clear to me then: 'Communication is the thread that weaves clarity into chaos.'

    Abid Salahi
    Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth