Project Communication Process

Communication – definitely the oldest method of passing information from one person to another or a group of people.

In Software Development, communication between the various stakeholders happen in various means:

  • Daily Chats between project team members and customer team, either by mail or IM
  • Formal Status Meetings between the Managers on both sides (Customer and Project teams)
  • Regular Steering Committee meetings between Senior Managements of both teams

All the above-mentioned means are those which involve interaction of personnel of both teams.

The other mode of communication is via documents. There are different types of documents that are produced by the various teams involved in a project

  • Requirements like Software Requirement Specifications (SRS), Use-Cases
  • Architecture like System Analysis and Design(SAD) document
  • Design like UML documents
  • Development like source-code
  • Testing like Test Plans, Test Cases
  • Management like Project Plan, Project Status Reports

These documents help the project teams get a common understanding of the area under consideration.

The documents are usually stored in a common location (Project Folder or Version Control System) and accessed by both teams (who are located in different cities mostly). Some projects tend to share these documents by email and thus, lose the version-control. To avoid this, projects use software tools like

This is definitely huge amounts of data that is shared between the teams during any development project. What typically happens to project team members is that they miss out on any new communication that is very essential to them? If one member gets the information, by mistake yet another team member might not get the same. How does one take care of these situations and avoid ugly scenarios in the project?

Enter Web2.0

It is very easy to use the technologies of the current fad in project development for ease of use.

  • Wikis – these can be used for creating documents online – no tension of overwriting conflicting versions, collaborative creation and review of documents. These can replace the Word documents that are bandied around between offshore and onsite teams.
  • Folksonomies – These can be used to share best practice links between Architects/Designers and the developer community (like sharing links on delicious)
  • Skype/Google Talk – can be used to talk (rather than chat) with remote teams for issue resolutions/clarifications instead of the usual spreadsheet communication
  • Whiteboard communication sites like Twiddla
  • Project Management tools like dotProject, Project.net and more
  • Document Management tools like Alfresco
  • and many more…
  • Portals – these can be used to aggregate all the tools mentioned above so that the project teams can access one url for getting all the information required. Examples of Open-Source Portal software are Liferay, JBoss

These technologies do impact the communication process of software projects in a big way. The confusions that remain between the teams can be removed if the data is shared. This is definitely the way to go, for project communication, in the Web2.0 Age.

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3 Responses to “Project Communication Process”

  1. Dan Says:

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

  2. Priyanka Says:

    I wonder if you have used Deskaway. It is an online collaboration and management SaaS tool.

  3. Madhusudan Rao Says:

    @Dan: Thanks for the tip. It looks useful. Will check it out in my next project.

    @Priyanka: I havent used Deskaway – I have been evaluating OnePointProject recently and found it to be good for Project/Portfolio Management.

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