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5 Tips for Managing Project Communications in a Crisis

In this video I look at project communications during a crisis (text summary below).

For those of you who prefer reading or who can’t watch the video, here’s a summary:

There are always things that go wrong on projects – sometimes those issues are small; sometimes they are significant. Here are 5 tips to help you deal with project communications during an issue.

1.     Have a single point of contact

Appoint a single point of contact to deal with communications during the incident. That could be you or someone else from the project team, but make sure everyone knows who to go to for communication updates and who will be asking them for status reports. This person is dedicated to running the communication for all the stakeholders.

2.     Deal in facts

There will probably be quite a lot of emotions during a problem – people have an emotional response to what has gone wrong. Strip that back and deal with what you know to be true.

3.     Deal with what people are worried about

You might be dealing with something behind the scenes, such as a software bug, but your end users might be worried about something else. Don’t dismiss these views as unimportant. Those concerns are valid: listen to what those people are saying and deal with what is bothering them, even if that means you are splitting your efforts between fixing the behind the scenes problem and dealing with concerns from your users.

4.     Be fast

Get your messages out there as quickly as possible. It’s the best way to squash gossip before it starts.

5.     Plan for power down

Think about how you will deal with project communications if you don’t have electricity. It happens: power lines are cut through and generators go down. When you can’t rely on email, instant messaging or people being in front of their computers, how are you going to get the messages out?

View all my project management videos on my YouTube channel here.

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