Communication will be an essential part of project progress in the project implementation. Communication will be important for interaction among team members, training, external instructions, sales planning, supplies purchase and project management in general. The framework developed by Butt, Naaranoja, and Savolainen (2016) was used to develop the communications plan for the Insects Food Initiative. The main stakeholders of the project include community-based organizations namely, youth and women groups in Western Uganda and the lake region in Kenya, donor organizations, trainers, and the local government authorities.
External communication from the project teams will mainly be aimed at interactions with suppliers, trainers, and project sponsors. This type of communication will help the project teams to access resources needed for successful implementation as well as to report on project progress to relevant parties. Additionally, the project teams will be expected to communicate with local government authorities in order to give information about project intentions and to acquire the necessary permits for the project. External communication is reported as an inevitable part of operations in any project (Muszynska, 2015). Accordingly, different stakeholders will have different modes of communication. For local government authorities for instance, reporting structures exist, as well as the tools used for communication such as application forms. These will be used by the project teams. On the other hand, communications to other stakeholders such as suppliers and sponsors will mainly be through e-mails with follow-ups through phone calls. The external communication will therefore comprise of a combination of pull and push strategies, with the push communications aiming at sending out information to particular stakeholder groups such as the sponsors; here documents will be sent in form of reports and applications for funding (Method123, 2003). The pull strategies will be used for stakeholders such as suppliers and government authorities with the objective of getting something out, such as the permits. The pull communications will therefore use a combination of methods while the push communications will depend primarily on perceived formal communication channels such as e-mails.
Internal communications within the teams will take various forms. The primary forms will be through the use of team documents and through interpersonal communications. The use of team documents will be aimed at delivering project value through reports, drawings, simulation diagrams and results. These documents have a formal value within the project structure and are used by the major project stakeholders. Interpersonal communications are also inevitable in such a project setting, particularly within and across teams.
Interpersonal communication can be either scheduled or non-scheduled communication. The scheduled communication entails periodic communications in which members engage to assess the progress of the project (Butt et al., 2016). Various practices have been recommended for communication, and Davis (2000) states that any communication occurring within project teams should be aimed at clarifying the status of the project, recognizing the value of all project team members and highlighting the objectives of the next project phase. The periodic communication will entail practices such as periodic reporting, project team meetings, periodic e-mails, phone calls or project inspection exercises. The objective of such communication is often to assess the project direction in terms of achievement within specific time intervals. The project teams would develop strategic goals to be accomplished before the time of the next periodic communication, and the ensuing communication would be based on those goals. Another probable type of scheduled communication could be through planned trust/team building and benchmarking activities, which is an informal communication activity (Delerue & Sicotte, 2017). Since the project will be run by multiple teams across western Uganda and the lake region in Kenya, it is expected that the different teams would desire to learn from each other. Supporting this learning will imply that various benchmarking activities have to be planned and effectively executed and such constitute schedule inter-personal communications.
The un-scheduled interpersonal communication on the other hand, comprises of communication that occurs on a day-to-day basis and can be either formal or informal. Formal communication in this context would include communications made through e-mails, phone calls and/or face-to-face interactions that occur during work. They include communication that is directly related to work such as instructions on next activities, questions on guidelines, and specific information sharing communications (Zulch, 2014). On the other hand, the information non-scheduled interpersonal communication would include phone calls and personal interactions that occur during work, as well as interactions aimed at conflict resolution in the workplace. Rapport building is also another form of informal interpersonal interactions that will probably occur in the project. Each of these forms of communication is important as they enable effective interactions during work and thus foster productivity.
Butt, A., Naaranoja, M., & Savolainen, J. (2016). Project stakeholder communication. International Journal of Project Management, 34, 1579-1595.
Davis, D. L. (2000). Schmoozing and project management. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, Houston, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/interpersonal-communication-project-management-1902
Delerue, H., & Sicotte, H. (2017). Effective communication within project teams: The role of social media. International Journal of Conceptions on Management and Social Sciences, 5(1), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316106498_Effective_communication_within_project_teams_the_role_of_social_media
Method123 (2003). Project management guidebook. Method123.
Muszynska, K. (2015). Communication management in project teams – Practices and patterns. Management, Knowledge and Learning Joint International Conference, 1359-1366. https://www.toknowpress.net/ISBN/978-961-6914-13-0/papers/ML15-266.pdf
Zulch, B. (2014). Communications: The foundation of project management. Procedia Technology, 16, 1000-1004. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275227010_Communication_The_Foundation_of_Project_Management