|Written by Preeti Juneja|
|Tuesday, 11 October 2011 00:00|
What managers do more than anything else is communicate;
• What information needs to flow in and out of the project?
• Who needs what information?
• When is the information needed?
• What is the format of the information?
• Who will be responsible for transmitting and providing the information?
• Where is the information stored?
Above are some basic guidelines managers need to follow in any business to ensure effective communication. If these are in place, then there is smooth communication flow in the organization. Most of the times, there are gaps in addressing them and therefore, leading to improper communication, lack of information and complicated crisis situations.
Improper communication management can hit any business, small or big. Entrepreneurs of SMEs may think they have an edge over larger companies because of their small, warm and well-knit pool of resources but the impacts are daring when the situation goes out of hand. Effective communication is an essential part of a smoothly running business organization.
This realization in itself is the key to a successful business. So, a visionary thinker will really try to bridge the gap in the best possible way to allow seamless communication, marry communication with information for ace collaboration in the organization and save time spent by resources on replication.
In the modern organisation of today, there are multi-channel flows of communication. Business communication was limited to paper-work, telephone calls etc. But now with advent of technology, we have cell phones, video conferencing, emails, satellite communication to support business communication. The more channels to communicate; there are more chances of information getting scattered. No doubt it’s the fastest way to reach but with high probabilities of risk. SMEs really need to be aware when it comes to communication through multi channels and free wares:-email accounts, social media, chat, sms and other modes.
So, the effectiveness of communication really depends on the quality medium. Grouping all internal communication and external communication in one place, to the projects or activities they belong to. All information shared in the communication also grouped into consistent folders under the projects or activities they belong. So that, there is no room for multiple communication softwares or storage places when you need the information or tracking the conversation you last had with your colleague related to client project.
When you are small, it is fairly easy to manage all communications and information at work but as you grow, it goes out of hands. More work, means more emails, more communication and messages. The effectiveness of communication also depends on any distracting 'noise' that prevent the message from effectively getting through. For example, if the recipient receives lots of e-mail messages, they may fail to give proper attention to the sender's message. Entrepreneurs should invest in solutions and that help avoid email clutter for better communication management.
As smaller companies grow into mid-sized companies and larger, the number of resources increase and so does the levels of hierarchy. Greater the number of levels, the more difficult is the job of managing the organization. Communication here plays a very important role in process of directing and controlling the people in the organization. Communication gaps should not occur in any organization. Effective communication is essential for success and growth of an organization. Having said that, at every stage of your business there is a need to get organized and work smarter by optimizing talent & technology, even when you are small and as you grow into mid-sized and then into a large outfit.
The basic functions of management (Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling) cannot be performed well without effective communication. Taking stock of communications and information alone is not the only challenge for any manager of a SME but managing the business in entirety. Communication and information management is the fuel to any project management and happy employees of a business ship.
The goal is really is to convey a message to another person successfully without there being any confusion about what you mean. Misunderstandings occur all of the time and some people are easily offended. It is important to be aware of issues that might arise with attitudes and the way messages need to be conveyed. When managing a host of clients, employees and other stakeholders, it is important to manage a variety of personalities before managing the work or project for an achieving high credibility, faith and enduring business relationship.
You can relate to all this and admit you know all this jazz about communication management but perhaps what you don’t know is how to effectively manage communication and information using technology to your benefit. A simple google search will drop down a list of project management tools and document management solutions to assist your business but really nothing on communication management accept books to read and courses to join. Isn’t it sad? On getting deeper into your search, at some point you’ll be made to believe that project management is synonymous to communication management and therefore, a project management tool is really what you need. Nothing wrong with it but just that all your information that you think will get collaborated, may still be floating in your emails and the email clutter issue still unresolved.
With this thought alone, a small percentage of SMEs who have a belief in rising to higher grounds by taking measures for better communications have actually stepped back. The icing on the cake is the need for high infrastructures, maintenance and budgets. The truth is: - a small business cannot afford ERP or communication management software at the start of the venture when it is actually needed the most.
There is one solution that you may want to try out; TaskTrek for communication and information management. It fits the bill perfectly. All communication is seamlessly integrated with the document management and also enables SMEs to monitor activities, manage resources from one place. There are features of communication management, document management, activity management and resource management threaded together into TaskTrek so that users don’t have to use multiple softwares at all. You log into TaskTrek and mange all work and communications using it from any location or at any time. The good news is that TaskTrek is extending discounts on its single and corporate user packages to all SME World readers starting this anniversary issue. Please turn to page no. XX for more information on it.
Entrepreneurs should continue their stand for effective communication management. Unearthing the need for collaboration, better accountability, and seamless communications and then investing into them. Humanly, it is a challenge and automation can help all entrepreneurs overcome it.
A demo of TaskTrek will not only show you around the multiple features and their working but emphasizes on how simple it is to use the application, that it really needs no technical training. Technology is no scarecrow but a friend to help you move ahead in your organization.
With this confidence, you can take your team a level up and gear them to win relationships, business and respect using a communication and information management solution in your organization. Nothing can be better than adopting a one stop solution for all your communication and information management needs.