Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

Interactive Project Management: Best Practics for Communicating the Right Message Using the Right Medium at the Right Time

📄 Contents

  1. What does good communication look like?
  2. Types of communication
  3. Best practices
  4. Takeaways
Learn how an effective project manager handles communication: what good communication looks like, the common types of communication and what they’re good for, and best practices for communicating effectively.
This chapter is from the book

There are countless ways to communicate with team members and stakeholders, from email and documents to meetings and calls. An effective project manager wrangles all that can be said in any number of ways into what needs to be said and delivers it in the best way possible.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss

  • What good communication looks like
  • The common types of communication and what they’re good for
  • Best practices

All projects require communication. What’s different about interactive projects? There’s a wide range of personalities and stakeholders involved—from the IE6-hating developer to the executive requesting “the next Facebook.” Not only that, there are opinions, requirements, restrictions, and requests coming from all of them.

All of this causes tension. Effective communication is the key to preventing and resolving the tension and misunderstandings that arise.

Using emotional intelligence to understand your team is just the beginning. Applying those observations and experiences using communication is pivotal to facilitating productive and collaborative engagement among your team.

What does good communication look like?

Practicing good communication, at every opportunity, will make a huge difference on any project. Transferring information, exchanging ideas, providing explanations, and achieving goals all rest on effective communication. As project manager, you set the stage by ensuring that communication has the following four qualities:

OPEN. Being honest about expectations, objectives, and restrictions is one of the most crucial elements of successful communication. You might have to ask a lot of questions to get a client to be open, or maybe you’ll have to reiterate the value of openness to your team. Bring back-channel conversations to the forefront and stress to your team that openness strengthens the project.

CLEAR. Understand what’s going on with your team and the client. And make sure they understand, too. Listen, ask questions, process, and think through what they’re saying. And confirm understanding with others, both clients and the internal team.

COLLABORATIVE. Collaboration requires productive, two-way communication. Both you and the client bring expertise and value to the project. They know their business; you know yours. Together you make something great. Don’t try to make your client feel like you know everything about everything, because you don’t—and neither does your team, your department, or your organization. And make sure that your client doesn’t treat you or your organization like vendors. Your team does more than simply execute clients’ ideas; it brings value and insight, an asset that your client must recognize if you’re going to work collaboratively.

THOROUGH. Communication is an invaluable tool in properly documenting and recording the life cycle of a project. Capturing the thinking and talking that happens apart from forms and documents is important in establishing a shared understanding among the team. Recognizing that a project is veering off course requires thoroughness: Read carefully, ask questions, call out red flags, and then document and communicate the changes.

The effects of good communication extend beyond the project and into the life of the product. Think about this when managing a project. From beginning to (no) end, effective communication will mean success beyond the launch date.

Setting the stage for success

Prepare the team for the kind of communication that will arise and the potential problems that communication can solve.

Welcome candid conversations

Not all news can be butterflies and rainbows. Realistically, we have to have conversations that are loaded with stress, bad news, or complex information.

Collaborating effectively with clients means tackling tough conversations. Project partnerships have to start with an early acknowledgement that these will occur and an agreement that they will be processed together. This has to go all the way to the top of the organization. As an executive or leader, it’s important to welcome these moments as an integral part of the process, not as a failure of the team.

Prevent misunderstandings

Technology creates tension. (Think about it until you agree.1 ) This is one of the primary differences between interactive projects and any other type of project. But you can alleviate some of this tension if the reasons for it are addressed with open communication.

Openly discuss the truths about technology. This will give clients the context and knowledge they need to understand what makes interactive projects different. Here are three points that prep the team for what’s ahead:

TECHNOLOGY ALWAYS EVOLVES. Many clients are still more comfortable with traditional media. An ad campaign or a rebranding effort has a finite end, but interactive projects are different. They’re always changing: existing software is updated, new software is created, and this affects how it all works together. If you can help clients understand and anticipate this it empowers them to think in evolutionary terms. It’s no one’s fault if a new browser is introduced the day the project launches. It’s just how the interactive world works.

THE LAUNCH IS THE BEGINNING, NOT THE END. It’s very satisfying to launch a site or an app, and it’s certainly well worth celebrating, but not because it’s the end of the project or the work. Most interactive projects need to evolve. They’ll require updates to content, site architecture, code, or software. It’s like a puppy: To keep it alive you have to feed it and walk it, and it sometimes poops on the floor. Making the client aware of this and keeping it in the front of their minds will give them a better sense of the real scope of the project beyond the launch day balloon-drop.

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Recognizing and tempering unrealistic expectations will keep everyone happier in the long run. Technology won’t solve everyone’s problems; it may not eliminate work. Discussing this proactively before it’s a problem makes it easier to correct if it becomes a problem.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020