Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

Both the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and the Project Management Association (PMA) stress the importance of communication. For example, readers of the IPMA's Competence Baseline Version 3.0 (ICB3) are advised that, Effective communication is vital to the success of projects, programmes and portfolios. Yet, global projects can involve people who do not speak the same languages and/or who do not share the same cultures. This can lead to linguistic ambiguities in communications and/or conceptual ambiguities in communications. These ambiguities need to be minimized because they can threaten the reliability and validity of communications. The reliability of communications will be compromized if communications are understood differently by different recipients. The validity of communications will be compromized if communications do not address the issues which they are intended to address. In this paper, findings are reported from a study investigating sources of ambiguities and methods for minimizing ambiguities. Existing methods for minimizing ambiguities which can threaten the reliability and validity of communications were found to be of limited usefulness for global project communications. In particular, exhaustive translation / interpretation methods are too time-consuming and expensive. However, more economical alternatives to exhaustive methods do little to counteract threats to reliability and validity. Three new methods for minimizing ambiguities are put forward. The first is a standardized template. This offers both immediate and long-term advantages. A preliminary template was developed during the study and is presented in this paper. Second, the formulation of a methodology for minimizing ambiguities is proposed. Third, the development of topic-specific global project languages comprising symbols, symbol sets and symbol systems is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages50
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-6618-1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

NameVTT Working Papers
PublisherVTT
No.67
ISSN (Electronic)1459-7683

Fingerprint

Communication
Project management
Linguistics

Keywords

  • communication
  • reliability
  • validity
  • conceptual ambiguities
  • linguistic ambiguities

Cite this

Fox, S. (2007). Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Working Papers, No. 67
Fox, Stephen. / Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 50 p. (VTT Working Papers; No. 67).
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Fox, S 2007, Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications. VTT Working Papers, no. 67, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo.

Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications. / Fox, Stephen.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 50 p. (VTT Working Papers; No. 67).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Fox S. Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 50 p. (VTT Working Papers; No. 67).