Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    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

    SeriesVTT Working Papers


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


    Dive into the research topics of 'Three original methods for minimizing ambiguities in global project communications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this