16 Project Communication types with Examples

Define project communication

Project Communication is exchange of project information.  Purpose of project communication is to meet the communication needs of stakeholders; A project manager spends about 90% of his time communicating.  Project communication may be:

1. Internal Communication

Communication with stakeholders within the project and within the organization

2. External Communication 

Communication with external stakeholders such as customers, vendors, other projects, organizations, govt, the public, and environmentalists

3. Formal/Official 

Controlled Communication conforming to prescribed organizational rules and standards

Spoken words, voice inflections, perilingual

4. Nonverbal Communication

Gestures, facial expressions, and Body language and actions

5. Informal/unofficial

6. Written Communication

7. Effective Listening

It is paying attention to the message Sender’s gestures and facial expressions and trying to focus on the content of the message without distraction. Purpose is to understand fully what is being said

8. Active Listening

It is confirming listening to the Sender by expressing agreement or disagreement and asking for clarification when necessary; purpose is to understand fully what is being said and to assure/convey to the Sender that he is being understood

9. Interactive Communication

This is a reciprocal method involving two or more people. One person provides information; others receive it and then respond to the information

Conversations, phone calls, meetings, IM, VC, video calls

10. Push Communication

Involves a one-way stream of information. The sender provides info to the people who need it but does not expect feedback from the recipients

Project status reports, emails, biogas, memos, letters, reports, faxes, uploading

11. Pull Communication

Also involves one-way stream of information.

Internet sites, data bases, downloading, placing data on cloud and sharing the link with the recipients to retrieve it

12. Communication Channel

Is an imaginary line or link along which information flows between a sender and a receiver. The maximum number of channels in a project with n stakeholders is n(n-1)/2 With 4 stakeholders, the maximum number of channels will be 6.

13. Communication Blocker

Any act which adversely affects or cuts off communication.

Accusing, Insulting, Rudeness, Judging, Threatening, Ordering, Interrupting, Sarcasm, Cross-Talking, etc.  Blocking regularly exercised on social media

14. Communication Barrier

A difficulty in communicating in any organization.

Language, cultural diversity, gender differences, complexes(inferiority/superiority), status differences, physical separation

15. Formal, Informal, Written & Verbal

These types of Communication are typically used in combination as follows:

Formal Written used for Project Management Plan, other formal documentation (such as the Project Charter), and Reports; can be both physical & electronic

Formal Verbal used for Planned Meetings & Stakeholder Briefings; can be Face-to-face or Remote (video-linked)

16. Informal Written used for Email, handwritten notes, text messages, instant messaging, social media, and websites

Informal Verbal used for Unscheduled Briefings, Conversations, and other casual discussions

16 Project Communication types with Examples
16 Project Communication types with Examples
Typical Examples of Communication Types & Situations
  1. Changes to any Project Document or Contract – It’s a Formal written type communication
  2. Giving presentations to management – Formal verbal
  3. Informing a team member about poor performance (1stnotice) – Formal verbal
  4. Informing a team member about poor performance (2ndnotice) – Formal written
  5. Scheduling a meeting – Informal written
  6. Clarifying a work package – Formal written/Informal verbal (depending on how the clarification was sought)
  7. Requesting additional resources – Formal written
  8. Holding a milestone party – Informal verbal
  9. Conducting an online bidder conference – Formal verbal (VLC) & Formal written (MOM)
16 Project Communication types with Examples
16 Project Communication types with Examples


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