Unlock The Power of Contextual Communication With Kantata
This is part 3 of a three-part series on how your professional services business can unlock hidden value with the Kantata Professional Services Cloud. Learn more about the power of project budgets and resource allocation in our series.
The Hidden Value of Contextual Communication
While every professional services business is built on reaching out to and serving clients, these companies live and breath on good internal communication. And when it comes to communication and collaboration on projects, making sure that resources are working together well is even more important. This is where contextual communication comes into play, helping team members get in touch with each other easily and work well together within the context of a larger project.
But contextual communication means more than just commenting back and forth on a task. It means getting people’s work out of spreadsheets, emails, and documents, and into a solution that retains crucial context so resources can stay updated and teams can be kept consistently informed. These solutions prevent important communications from being lost and help users see the context of any communication quickly.
Contextual communication, both between team members and between a company and their clients, has a huge impact on the success of a business. When done well, it can have many different benefits, including:
- Improved Work Speed – Being able to communicate clearly and understand other team members’ needs through a shared workspace will result in faster task completion and smoother task hand-off within a project timeline, as each resource stays informed and works within the understanding of the larger project they are part of.
- Leaner Project Timelines – Fast, contextual communication will reduce the minutes and even hours it can take for team members to search out information, get in touch with coworkers, and get help as needed, preventing project timelines from ballooning.
- Greater Client Satisfaction – Inconsistencies, miscommunications, and internal conflicts can all compromise project quality and can be evident in communication with clients. Good, contextual communication prevents these issues and creates a united team that communicates well with clients, which, in turn, fosters trust and greater satisfaction in the end.
- Improved Job Satisfaction – Good communication and improved team dynamics also mean that your team members will be happier with their daily work. Employees that work well together and have positive feelings toward their company will be more satisfied with their job, improving employee retention and preventing the major costs that come with high turnover rates.
The Impact of Improved Communication
Communication issues in a business can happen in any situation, both in time-sensitive work and regular meetings that support team members and company culture. When issues arise, the problems they cause can vary greatly depending on where and how they happened and can mean more than just project delays.
Shortfalls in communication often get overlooked in businesses because collaboration is so ingrained into every aspect of a task, with managers often taking it for granted as “second nature”. But when communication goes wrong, it becomes apparent to everyone involved, and it has immediate consequences. According to Expert Market, 28% of employees cite poor communication as the reason for not being able to deliver work on time. When addressed, good communication can make a massive difference in your company’s future.
Identifying and systematically correcting your company’s communication problems can have positive impacts in the following areas.
|Poor Communication||Healthy Communication|
|Deadlines||Tasks completed in a vacuum result in team members not knowing when they should provide work to managers or team members, delaying related work and missing connections with other related tasks that need to be completed for the project to be successful.||Good communication within the context of a project helps resources know who is relying on them and what work they are responsible for delivering, improving workflows and avoiding unnecessary complications that can hurt a project.|
|Job Satisfaction||Poor communication and misunderstandings by management and coworkers quickly create frustration and growing dissatisfaction in team members, leading to unhappy teams and a higher likelihood that resources will leave for a different company.||Healthy internal communication between team members and managers helps resources feel like their voices are being heard, prevents harmful miscommunication, and keeps job satisfaction higher, which creates a better work environment and lower employee turnover.|
|Client Expectations||Poor contextual communication with clients can lead to misunderstandings about project deliverables, deadlines, and expectations around a project, leading to major issues that prevent return work and may even force businesses to redo projects at a financial loss.||Good client communication means both team members and clients understand each others’ expectations about projects, deadlines, and more, which increases satisfaction and ensures a project’s deliverables match what a client wants for better end results.|
|Profit Margins||Poor communication can cause employees to spend too much time on a task, redo incorrect work, perform unnecessary work, miss deadlines, and generally have poor utilization rates, causing more to be spent on a project than budgeted.||Good communication keeps team members informed of responsibilities, task needs, timelines, and general project progress, preventing mistakes caused by misinformation and a lack of knowledge, which will help keep healthy profit margins.|
Building Well-Informed Contextual Communication
A professional services business can support the relational, environmental, and cultural context of communication through messaging channels connected to projects. Today’s project management software solutions provide a centralized work hub that can integrate with the many different technologies needed to complete complex projects. These solutions provide team members with the ability to comment, edit, share files, screen share, and perform more critical tasks in real time. This is contextual communication – online collaboration that is consistently performed within the larger project, and it’s only grown more important in the modern world of remote work.
To foster well-informed contextual communication, professional services organizations should provide the following:
- Create dedicated channels for specific communications to prevent confusion and lost information
- Use real-time editing on tasks, documents, and other in-process work to help communication and collaboration happen with fewer delays
- Utilize project management software that provides a central hub for all tasks to prevent work needs from being lost in project silos
- Provide timelines, Gantt charts, and more critical information to all relevant stakeholders so that resources work within the context of the project’s larger needs
- Invite clients into collaborative spaces with appropriate permissions to help them understand the ongoing work and updates happening on their project
Together, these elements will support team members and help them carry out their work while staying informed and connected.
Creating Strong Companywide Communication
How can Kantata create strong contextual communication for your professional services business? Kantata’s purpose-built cloud software provides access, insights, and real time updates for businesses to work with a newfound level of understanding in all aspects of their daily communications. Here are just a few Kantata clients that have found success in improving their project budgeting:
- RSM Improves Client Satisfaction and Global Business Processes with Kantata
- Health Catalyst Improves Business Processes and Increases Consistency in Project Delivery with Kantata
Contact us to learn more.