Selecting communication methods

  1. Read the section Assessing New Communication Technologies in the prescribed textbook (Web | PDF), Chapter 15 (page 139 in the PDF version).
  2. Choosing between the many available methods of communication is critical to success. Not only does each have its benefits and challenges, the people involved (and organisational culture) can impact on effectiveness. A project manager should utilise a variety of methods and use criteria to choose which method to use in various situations. Unfortunately, there is no fixed list of criteria to help determine the right mix of tools.

As a project manager you should consider elements of the following:

  • Importance (do you need to keep a record?)
  • Familiarity (are the team members experienced or capable of using and accessing the information in this channel)
  • Frequency (how often and how much information needs to be communicated)
  • Cost (this includes time as well as the financial expense of setting up and maintaining the chosen channel)
  • Time (how long is it going to take the Project Manager to administer all the chosen formats)

The most important aspect is that conscious consideration is given to the choices made.


  1. You have developed a process for updating progress within the project. Identify a method of communication that would be appropriate to communicate this to all the team members and explain your choice. You should also identify a method that would not be effective and explain why.

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Effective project communication

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Discussion forum

Post your answer to the following questions in the forum. Don’t forget to read what others have posted as well.

  1. Choose 2 different methods of communication (either identified in the text or others you are familiar with).
    • Identify benefits and drawbacks of each.
    • Suggest when they are most appropriate to use and explain why.
  2. Suggest what criteria can be used to identify the appropriate methods for communicating in the three different channels (upward, lateral, directly).