Types of Communication in Project Management

Communication plays an important part in project management. There have been instances when miscommunication and communication gaps have caused project failures. However, the Project managers can prevent such cases with the help of good communication systems. 

A good communication system helps project managers to communicate with the team members, stakeholders, sponsors, or the top-tier management. It ensures there is a clear understanding of all the information without any miscommunication. 

Moreover, the project managers are also responsible for correctly channelizing the communication process, so that the information is sent to the right person and in the right manner.

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Here are different types of communication that project managers use in project management.

Communication in Project Management

Project Perspective 

Project perspective communication as the name suggests includes internal communication and external communication. 

  • Internal communication

It refers to the communication that takes place within the project team, where back and forth discussion is carried out. 

  • External communication

It refers to the communication between the project team and the stakeholders, or other external members.

Organizational Perspective

From the organization’s point of view, the communication channel is categorized into vertical, diagonal, and horizontal. 

  • Vertical communication

It refers to the downward or upward flow of communication within different hierarchical levels of the organization. For example, a project team member reporting to the project manager or vice versa is vertical communication. 

  • Diagonal communication

It refers to communication across different functional divisions in the organization. 

A project manager is responsible for communicating with various functional divisions for the successful completion of a project. 

  • Horizontal communication

It refers to communication that takes place among people on the same hierarchical level. For example, the communication that takes place between the members of the project team. 

Formality Perspective 

The project communication may be formal or informal depending upon the situation. 

  • Formal communication

It refers to communication that involves clear instructions and orders and may include reports, presentations, media releases, etc. 

  • Informal communication

It is unofficial communication between the project manager and the project team. 

Channel Perspective 

There are different communication channels that the project managers may choose. These are as follows:

  • Verbal or non-verbal
  • Written or oral
  • Face-to-face or through telephone

Additional types of communication in project management

Push communication 

Push communication is when the feedback is not immediately received or required. For example, a project manager may send meeting notes, or reports to the team and in return may receive acknowledgement of them receiving it. 

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Pull communication 

Pull communication is when the users access the information by themselves. For instance, the project manager may post some important information on the company server for the project team to access. 

Interactive communication 

Interactive communication takes place between the project stakeholders and the project team. 

Interactive communication includes video conferences, live chats, face-to-face conversations, or telephonic chats. 


The project managers are responsible to convey clear information in the right manner. The above-mentioned types of communication help project managers convey their messages in a clear and concise way.

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