According to Portney et al (2008), “The key to successful project management is effective communication – sharing the right messages with the right people in a timely manner. Communication may be informal, formal, written or verbal. Whatever form the communications take, project managers should plan and prepare so their messages are received and correctly interpreted by project audiences”.

     This week we looked at three different modalities of communication: email, voicemail, and face to face (vis à vis).  In an email, there is an interpretation issue. The way it reads, it could be construed as being a little “bossy”. There is no way to accurately convey tone in an email. I believe this should be a third choice if a project team is in the same building(s). 

One could change the font  and color so it is not perceived in a wrong light for other than its true purpose: to get the required data so the other team member can submit their report on time.

     Voicemail is a little better than email in that one can convey tone, context and meaning using voice. However, as with email, one cannot be sure that this project team member will open the voicemail in time to send the necessary data.

     Face to face communication is a better way to get the information one needs if they are located in the same area(s). It is more personalized, can convey meaning and context, and more motivation for the team member(s).

    The factors that influenced this decision: face to face communication is more effective because it is more personalized. It also best conveyed the message that she may miss her deadline. She is able to connect with the team member and they can also iron out any wrinkles in the transfer of information.

     Not everyone is comfortable with vis à vis contact. So voicemail should be a second option of communication. They may not check their mail on a regular basis and may “miss something”. If they do not check in regularly, it could cause Jane to miss her deadline.

     The last option would be that if one needed a confirmation, email would be a good avenue. However it still does not minimize the chances for a misunderstanding.




Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



  1. Kari Dory says:

    Good summary. I think we can relate to being able to share the right message. I am sure you, like stress over many discussion postings trying to make sure I am sending the right message and trying not to have a tone. At this point, I feel like on am on a overload, trying to balance everything along with the new information I am sharing.

  2. bdmills01 says:

    Hi Silvercloud!

    Something you mentioned in your post was that there is still a possibility of a misunderstanding. That is an important point because it seems that possibility never goes away despite the chosen method. We must make sure that are messages are clear and appropriately detailed at all times. I think a good focus rather than just the type of delivery method would be foremost the clarity of the message.

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