Project communications 1.0 and 2.0

From information to interactivity


Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management

A series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and the success rate of projects


By Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



Communication effectiveness to all stakeholders has an essential role in all projects, and it is proven that organizations that are effective in communications are high performers too. Indeed, there are already some years that a Strategic Initiatives Study focused on adapting corporate strategy to the changing economy (Forbes, 2011) revealed that the vast majority of CEOs (92%) thought that communications were critical to the success of their strategic initiatives, while nearly half of them reported that “communications are an integral and active component of the strategic planning and execution process”; accordingly, increased communications topped the list of the key changes that companies were making to improve the success rate of their strategic initiatives. In addition, it is evident (Project Management Institute, 2013) that highly-effective communicating organizations are significantly more performant, since they meet original goals and business intents in almost 50% more of cases than low-performing organizations,  and, moreover, they respect time limits in almost the double of the cases. Furthermore, project communications may prove to be essential also as a potential negative factor, since inadequate and/or poor communication is considered a major cause of project failure in almost 30% of the cases (Project Management Institute, 2018).

Therefore, effectiveness in project communications is a Critical Success Factor. This effectiveness, although it requires “soft” skills – which, by the way, are now considered more important than before (Project Management Institute, 2018), and, in general, essential (Pirozzi and Sampietro, 2020), by the vast majority of project managers – has “hard” impacts on project results. However, when project communications can be considered effective? Project communications are effective if they reach their purpose, which ultimately is adding value, and this may happen if and only if they integrate properly their two components, i.e. the informative part of the transfer of contents and the interactive part of the relationships among persons.

Indeed, all project communications are purposeful, and different basic purposes are possible, including:

  • providing project information;
  • obtaining project information and/or data and information that are relevant to the project;
  • requesting an action, and/or preventing an action, and/or starting an action, and/or changing an action;
  • providing support to decision, and/or advising, and/or consulting;
  • learning, and/or facilitating learning;
  • setting up and/or improving relationships.

The essential role of interactivity in communication effectiveness should therefore be evident. Nevertheless, for decades, project management literature focused on informative component of communication only, and perhaps that contributed to the development of a sort of “dialogue of the deaf” among project stakeholders, which, on turn, had its heavy responsibilities on misunderstandings reciprocal expectations and on negatively affecting project results.  In fact, even today, there is a huge number of projects – i.e., on average, more than 30% (Project Management Institute, 2018) – that do not meet their original goals and business intents, and this actually means also that project stakeholders do not communicate effectively among themselves during the whole project lifecycle


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Massimo Pirozzi are based on the Author’s Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to Increase Value and Success Rates of Projects”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton (FL), U.S.A., October 2019.

How to cite this paper: Pirozzi, M. (2020), Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management: a series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and success rate of projects, Project communications 1.0 and 2.0: From information to interactivity, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/pmwj97-Sep2020-Pirozzi-stakeholder-perspective-series4-Project-communications-1.0-and-2.0.pdf



About the Author

Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy


 Massimo Pirozzi, MSc cum laude, Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Principal Consultant, Project Manager, and Educator. He is a Member and the Secretary of the Executive Board, a Member of the Scientific Committee, and an Accredited Master Teacher, of the Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management). He is certified as a Professional Project Manager, as an Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as an International Mediator. He is a Researcher, a Lecturer, and an Author about Stakeholder Management, Relationship Management, and Complex Projects Management, and his papers have been published in U.S.A., in Italy, and in Russia; in particular, he is the Author of the Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to enhance Project value and Success”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, October 2019.  He has a wide experience in managing large and complex projects in national and international contexts, and in managing relations with public and private organizations, including multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes, and non-profit organizations. He worked successfully in several sectors, including Defense, Security, Health, Education, Cultural Heritage, Transport, Gaming, Services to Citizens, Consulting, and Web. He was also, for many years, a Top Manager in ICT Industry, and an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology. He is registered as an Expert both of the European Commission, and of Italian Public Administrations.

Massimo Pirozzi serves as an International Correspondent in Italy for the PM World Journal. He received two 2019 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Awards for his featured paper “Stakeholders, Who Are They?”, and for his report from Italy titled “PM Expo® and PM Maturity Model ISIPM-Prado®”. He received also the 2018 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Award for his featured paper “The Stakeholder Management Perspective to Increase the Success Rate of Complex Projects”.

Massimo can be contacted at max.pirozzi@gmail.com

To view other works by Massimo Pirozzi, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/massimo-pirozzi/