woman using project manager jargon
Project management

Project manager jargon among stakeholders – should you use it?

Psoda blog author avatar
5 April 2023

Project management jargon can be a confusing and overwhelming aspect of stakeholder communications. With so many acronyms, technical terms, and specialised language, it’s easy to feel intimidated or confused during project meetings and discussions.

While jargon can help project managers communicate more efficiently with one another, it can also create a barrier to effective communication among stakeholders who don’t know your lingo – not to mention making technical concepts appear more complicated than they actually are.

Enhancing effective communication can significantly bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders. In addition, project managers can improve project outcomes and ensure the success of their projects.

But how can you, as a project manager, communicate more effectively?

The role of jargon in project management

I’ll never forget sitting in my first project meeting and feeling entirely out of my depth as I could barely follow the conversation that flowed around me.

Words like rag, Gantt and triple constraint had me feeling like I’d dropped into an alien environment. However, jargon is a common feature of many industries, and project management is no exception.

It is often used to save time and promote efficient communication.

For example, project managers use jargon to refer to specific project management methodologies, tools, and techniques. This helps stakeholders understand complex ideas quickly and can also help establish a shared language that fosters cohesion.

We have some great YouTube video’s explaining basic project manager terms; please feel free to share these with your team if they want to learn some of the jargon.

Does using project manager jargon prevent effective communication?

While there are some terms I think everyone involved in project management should know, the list can be extensive and even intimating to your stakeholders that may be relatively new to your project.

Therefore, choosing the right terminology to communicate your project’s goals is essential.

The percentage of projects that fail is pretty high—a whopping 70% of all projects fail to deliver what was promised to customers. The implementation of a management process, however, is shown to reduce the failure rate to 20% or below.

One of the key factors in project management is how you communicate.

You can determine if technical data about the project is presented to stakeholders using project management jargon or simplified language.

According to the Project Management Institute, “There are many reasons why projects fail, and some of these reasons are outside of the project manager’s control, such as a change in the organisational strategy. However, poor communication is the main reason that projects fail and also an area that project managers can impact.”

This reveals that ineffective communication can have a negative impact on the success of a project’s execution.

Using project management jargon may be a part of your company’s culture.

However, if you notice blank stares as you use certain phrases, change them.

It’s your job as a project manager to communicate in a way that keeps your projects from becoming a part of the 70%.

Try simplifying your project manager jargon. This can lead to the following benefits:

  • Improved understanding among team members
  • Increased collaboration and creativity
  • reduced misunderstandings and errors
  • Increased motivation and engagement among team members

The right software comprises successful communication

Enabling and standardising project communication practices must be at the core of the chosen project information management solution.

As a project manager, one of the ways you can communicate effectively is by utilising project management software specifically configured for your organisation’s needs.

Instead of relying on project management jargon your stakeholders may not understand, use our project management software to deliver overviews and reports that speak to your team in a language that delivers results.

Let’s face it; project management is hard.

You need to convince executives, motivate engineers and developers, communicate with team members, work with designers, and persuade your customers that your product’s worth their time.

Instead of tearing your hair out with a multitude of different tools, set your products and teams up for success with Psoda!

Discover how we can help by scheduling a complimentary personalised demo with our CEO Bruce Aylward from the comfort of your office.

Rhona Aylward avatar
Written by Rhona Aylward
Rhona is Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda, where she does everything except code. After starting life as a microbiologist she moved into PMO leadership roles around the world before settling in New Zealand with her family.

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