The importance of good communication in project work

In the autumn of 2021, we started our project Sustainable Tourism together with Finns and exchange students.  Our team consisted of eight students, an instructor and a client. The roles of the team were divided in a familiar way. Roles include project manager, deputy project manager, secretary, communications manager and welfare manager. At the beginning of the project, we also decided what communication channels, we are going to use in this project for example, official matters are sent by e-mail, daily matters are agreed with the group chat on WhatsApp. We also agreed that much of the communication will take place on the Teams channel.

What is good communication?

When communication is good, things go well. In our project, WhatsApp was the most used and most effective communication channel. In addition to issues related to the project, humor was often included in the discussions, which increased the team spirit and sense of togetherness. In our project, everyone took part in the discussion. In addition to communication channels, we also spent time with the team in our free time, for example playing board games. It was super fun!

In my opinion good communication also requires, for example, clear communication, a commitment to respond to others in real time, to read messages sent by others. In projects, it is especially important to stay on schedule. However, we are just people, and sometimes we are late with our own tasks. It’s okay if you remember to inform others about that. Of course, people are different and there are many ways to communicate. Personally, I have been on three different projects now and there have been communication challenges in each project. The purpose of this blog post is to think the importance of communication, also the challenges and the impact on the project’s flow and the final result.

Culture differences and opportunities

Personally, I am a happy and a quite chatty Finn, but it was absolutely wonderful to notice in cultural differences how, for example, exchange students arrived for class. Always smiling and asking everyone, how are you? It is a wealth to learn about different cultures and it is always an opportunity to learn something new.

However, the first challenge I noticed in our project was the cultural differences. Where Finns are used to always being timely and careful, it is not self-evident to everyone. Clearly, in many countries, attitudes towards work are much more relaxed. I’m not saying which way is better. It’s great to learn about different ways of working, even if it causes a lot of confusion at first, maybe even frustration. In this case especially, I think it important to invest in good communication. Agree and commit to common rules. Personally, I know that rarely no one wants to intentionally cause harm. Usually it is uncertainty. For example, a person does not know or understand that other team members think they are doing wrong. In these situations, it is good to constructively address the problem points immediately. In our own project, despite some small challenges, we have had a great team spirit, for which I am truly grateful.

Other challenges in communication in project working

The purpose of our project is to produce the best possible result for our client. In our project, we got to use completely unknown application, which allows us to customize products for the better. As the project progressed, we realized how important it is to reach the client when challenges and questions arise. In our case, our client was very busy, which made it very difficult for the project to progress.

We will face many communication challenges in the future in working life and many have already faced them. In my opinion, by being aware of the importance and power of communication, it is also possible to develop communication within a work group, for example.

The best parts of good communication

Personally, I am grateful to have been involved in this project and to get to know these wonderful people. There were many challenges during the project but we managed to work together towards one common goal. It is important to have good communication and, for example, to dare to give constructive feedback to others in evaluation situations. Above all, it helps the person to improve themselves but also improves the result of the whole team.

We learn so much during this project. We learn about sustainable tourism, the platform economy, human knowledge, cultures, ways of communicating and much more. I also hope that exchange students learnt something from us Finnish students that they can use in the future in working life. P2P-projects offer a unique opportunity to learn the skills needed in working life, where, for example, communication is one of the most important. The video below is to show how much fun learning and working together can be. I will end this blog with the words ”Good communication flows like a river”

Suurin osa Showcasen blogeista on toteutettu osana Laurean opintojaksoja. Koko koulutustarjontaamme voi tutustua nettisivuillamme. Tarjoamme kymmenien tutkintoon johtavien koulutuksien lisäksi myös paljon täydennys- ja erikoistumiskoulutuksia sekä yksittäisiä opintojaksoja avoimen AMK:n kautta!

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