Don’t Let Different Communication Styles Derail Your Project
It’s no surprise that software projects are an extreme undertaking for any business. Manufacturers and distributors can spend anywhere from six months to two years implementing ERP software. Plus, for your implementation to yield success, your software project team must stand as a united front and work together throughout the project lifecycle.
That being said, different communication styles make it difficult for team members to stay on the same page all the time. In fact, the Project Management Institute informs us that communication was a factor in 56% of all failed projects.
Between your project leader, technical experts, project manager, and all other important team members, communication conflicts are likely to occur; however, these conflicts can strengthen your team rather than derail your project. Keep reading below to find out how each communication style can add value to your project team!
Individuals on your team who favor big-picture communication to small detail communication are likely intuitive communicators. They don’t overanalyze situations, so they can make quick decisions. These communicators are great assets to your team because they are unafraid of challenging the status quo–making them innovators.
Due to their tendency to look at the big-picture in projects, they generally will skip steps and important details, so having teammates check their work is necessary. Some ways to converse with intuitive communicators include:
- Avoid extensive conversations about the basics, and focus conversations on big-picture situations
- Talk about critical details in relation to achieving the end goals
- Utilize visuals in project conversations
These individuals can add value to your software project because they can look at your implementation and develop plans that will lead to robust, effective overall system processes. For example, in an ERP implementation, these people can help your whole project team develop a working understanding of how your ERP solution will benefit the overall operations of your manufacturing or distribution business. Not to mention, if quick decisions about the project need to be made–these are the people who can do that!
These are team members who are likely to develop sincere relationships with other team members. They tend to embrace emotional communication and believe the key to success in group settings is to build and maintain personal relationships with other members of their team.
A personal communicator is often an excellent leader because they can form meaningful connections with the other members of the team. Plus, they can often tell when the project is going off track, and they prefer when group processes are going well. You can utilize these team members if a conflict arises between other members of the group; they excel at smoothing things over and moving toward the project objectives.
While these individuals are a great asset to the team, their personal chit chat might get in the way of talk that is necessary for the project, so it’s beneficial to bring their attention back to what is important. Keep the following in mind when working with a personal communicator:
- Be authentic
- Use emotion and details to help them connect
- Discuss how each project outcome will affect the other people involved
This communicator will benefit the software project team because he or she cares about how the software will affect everyone in the business- not just the people in that room. By connecting with IT personnel, technicians, and everyone else in the business, this communicator will be able to provide valuable insight into what software solutions and add-ons will best impact your workforce and return the most value.
If you have an analytical communicator on your project team, they will likely communicate using concrete facts and data rather than emotions. These communicators generally hold unemotional views on work. In this way, they are a great resource for colleagues who are in conflict and need an objective perspective.
Keep in mind that these communicators are focused on accomplishing the project goals and tend to keep interpersonal relationships and communication separate from project conversations. To achieve maximum success communicating with an analytical communicator, we recommend the following:
- Use concrete data and numbers to support your project suggestions, proposals, and talking points
- Use logical and concise language
- Give them time to ponder the data before decision making
- Anticipate questions
The analytical communicator is an asset to your software project team because he or she is focused on the concrete data, meaning they will be centered on how the software will improve operations and increase ROI. For example, when choosing a vendor, the analytical communicator will be able to bring specific data to support how and why one vendor will benefit your business over another.
Functional communicators thrive in situations where they must play devil’s advocate and break down all the details of the project. They pay close attention to the individual pieces of the project as well as the individual processes.
These are trusted individuals on the team; however, their appreciation of small details is likely to occasionally lose the interest of the other members of the group. You can use the following strategies to effectively communicate with these teammates:
- Use specific processes to connect your discussion to the project
- Use specificity with ideas and proposals
As previously mentioned, these communicators can look at how each detail will affect the whole, so they make a great asset to the software project team. He or she can look at the nitty-gritty and use that to strengthen the processes and procedures of the software.
Software implementation projects are a huge undertaking that requires a team of qualified individuals who can communicate effectively and work toward the common good.
Here at Datix, we know that implementation is a long process that requires everyone to work together. We are not only software experts, but we are business experts. Our experienced consultants can provide the third-party assistance that your team of intuitive, personal, analytical, and functional communicators needs to be successful.
Contact us today to learn more!