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Communication is key to project success!

Just when it seems like you have everything covered - paperwork, deadlines, budgets, and people - suddenly someone says "You never told me" or "I didn't hear about that". Or worse yet, a complete re-design is necessary because a change slipped through the cracks, and now it's not billable.

If this has ever happened to you, take heart in the fact that it happens to all of us at sometime in our project management careers. So let's face it: effective project management is more than throwing together a schedule and updating percent-complete figures. Although schedules and completion dates are important, it's most important to keep everyone on the same page. It all boils down to one thing:

*** Communication ***

If you're communicating properly with team members and those involved in the project, then everyone knows about status updates, scope changes, file transmittals, schedule revisions, and the financial health of the project. No one can ever truthfully say "I didn't get the message."

Regardless of the method (phone, email, fax, face to face), the best way to propel your project to success is to communicate often and centralize communication by capturing discussions, action items, changes, stored documents, and schedules in one place. This helps assure that the information you communicated was heard and understood.

Web-based project collaboration tools can be useful in speeding up the process of project communication. Meeting minutes, phone conversations, and water cooler discussions can be documented, centralized and distributed to the entire project team regardless of their physical location. In addition all project documentation such as drawings, invoices, legal documents, proposals and other key information can be posted and reviewed through a secure connection from anywhere in the world.

Drive Accountability—get your project team communicatingthen find a tool that automates notification of such updates to all team members. Get your team on the same page working toward the same goal.