Communication Management

Objectives  Identify and describe the processes associated with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) area called project communications management, which includes project communications planning, information distribution, performance reporting, and administrative closure.

Describe several types of reporting tools that support the communications plan. 1




What Are The Results?

Work falls through the cracks Work needs to be re-done Work is duplicated Trust

Delays Cost increases


When it comes to projects, no one likes surprises. Nothing can diminish a project manager’s credibility faster than the surfacing of unexpected situations that should have been identified some time before.


Project Communications Management

Communications Planning — attempts to answer:
  

 

How will information be stored? How will knowledge be stored? What information goes to whom, when, and how? Who can access what information? Who will update the information and knowledge? What media of communication is best?

Project Communications Management – Continued

Information Distribution—getting the right information to the right people in the right format Performance Reporting—collection and dissemination of project information to the various project stakeholders. Administrative Closure—verifying and documenting the project’s progress.


Understanding communication


Managers Making decisions

Tell others

st ideas ost creative suggestion nest plan


od communication lead to successful

Four facets of communication

In any communication:

The Sender is the person trying to communicate a message The Receiver is the person at whom the message is directed A message is sent to convey information Information is meant to change behavior

The Communication Process

Transmission of encoded message through media channels

Message to be sent Encoded Message

Message Received Decoded Message


Feedback to sender

The Project Manager as Information Nerve Center
External Information Internal Information

d ee F

c ba


Project Manager as Monitor  Information processor  Communicator

Manager as Disseminator  Distributes information to subordinates

Manager as Spokesperson Distributes information to people outside the organization

ed Fe ba ck

How we communicate

We communicate and build interpersonal relationships through:
   

Speech Writing Listening Non-verbal language


Choosing your medium

Depending upon the situation, one method of communication may be better than another.
       

In person: one-to-one In person: meetings, small groups In person: presentations, large groups Letter Memo Note Email Voice mail

The Pyramid of Channel Richness


Choosing your medium

To determine the best medium for your message determine:
 

What you as the sender need to achieve What the receiver needs to know. What the receiver wants to know How detailed, important, and or personal the information in the message is Which behavior you want to influence and how

Choosing your medium

How would you communicate…

   

an organizational change in your department the introduction of a new employee a change in someone’s job duties a reprimand notice of a meeting


Choosing your medium

The best way to communicate…

an organizational change in your department by memo and small group meetings the introduction of a new employee by group and one-on-one meetings a change in someone’s job duties by memo and one-on-one meeting a reprimand in a one-on-one private meeting notice of a meeting by memo and email

Communications Channels


Communications Channels

SOURCE: Adopted from Richard L. Daft and Richard M. Steers, Organizations; A Micro-Macro Approach.


Communication Within Project Team
  

Part of the plan Who needs what, when? 4 major needs within team
   

responsibility coordination status authorization individual status meeting

Make assignments clear


Comm. Within Project Team(cont.)

Project status meeting  everyone must come prepared Verzuh’s 5 rules  agenda in advance  begin/end on time  every item three goals (stay on topic)  disseminate info  come to decision  or gather info  Draw people out  Record decisions & action assignments

Comm. with management & other stakeholders

Remember communications plan
  

who needs info & why? what type of info, what detail, how often? what is your goal and how best to accomplish?

The simple facts are often the best approach


Project Communication

Failure to communicate effectively often posses greatest threat to project success Communication is fuel that keeps project running smoothly Stakeholders

who needs to know what, when (how often) & how? constant, effective communication among everyone involved in project formal, informal, written, verbal

Communications (cont.)

Need formal communications plan

plus informal supplementation as needed

 

Integrated with overall project plan Conflict is endemic to project, need skills to manage
  

confrontation compromise withdrawal (least desirable in projects)

* project management is all about solving problems quickly & effectively


Are written communications more effective than verbal ones?

  

Memos,letters.e-mail,organizational periodicals, bulletin boards Tangible,verifiable and more permanent Both sender and receiver have a record Message can be stored for a period of time available for later reference More care is taken with the written word than with the oral word,and is more likely to be well thought out,logical,and clear

Are written communications more effective than verbal ones
Still the written ones have some drawbacks

Writing consumes a great deal of time Lack of feedback


What barriers exist to effective communication?


How can managers overcome communication barriers?


Project Communications Plan

can be formal or informal, depending on the needs of the project stakeholders and the size of the project communications plan should determine:
  

Who has specific information needs? What are those information needs? How will a particular stakeholder’s information needs be met? When can a stakeholder expect to receive this information? How will this information be received?

Project Communications Plan


Project Communication


Stakeholders are project team members, customers, suppliers, & business management

Keep all stakeholders informed and involved Project Kickoff Team Orientation Project Status Reporting Project Closedown Announcement

Key Project Communications
   

Consequences of Poor Communication

Project Delays due to
   

Low productivity Unclear requirements Lack of commitment Insufficient direction and leadership

Poor Stakeholder Relationship due to
  

Miscommunication Mistrust Power struggle and constant conflicts

Cost Overruns

Communication Plan


Describe how communications will occur on a project. This includes issue management, status reporting, and status reviews. Communication Map Outline of what will be communicated, to whom, by whom, when, formal/informal, how will it be sent (media and format) Information gathering and reporting procedures

 


Things to consider  Timeliness/criticality of information  Communication needs based on geographical dispersion of stakeholders  Compatibility/Availability of Information technology  Meaningfulness and usefulness of written information to its audience and author  Effectiveness of the communication strategy  Project organization  Project size  Target audience and type of information

Communication Plan


Communication Topics

Project Kickoff and Team Orientation  Introduction  Project Objectives and Priorities  Roles and Responsibilities Assignment  Project Environment Setup  Q & A Status Reporting  Status with respect to Scope, Schedule, Cost, and Quality (current status, planned/actual, variances, issues)  Risk/Issue Management 34

Communication Topics (contd)

Project Closedown  Formal Signoff  Customer Satisfaction Survey  Post Project Review  Location of Project Archive


Sample of a Communication Map
Audience: Project Manager

Team Status Report
Created by: team member

Used to create

Project Status Report
Created by: project manager

Audience: business managers, suppliers


Audience: customers, project team

Sample of a Communication Plan
ABC Communication Plan
Frequency Media

Note: Standard ABC Templates will be used for all report, review, and meeting documentation
Communication Item Purpose Audience Responsibilit y Distributio n

Customer Status Meeting Project Status Reports (includes CM Status) Team Member Status Report Project Status Review Senior Management Project Status Report Senior Management Project Status Report Review QA Review

To Communicate Status To Communicate Status To Communicate Status To Communicate Status To Communicate Status To Communicate Status To review Process/Produ ct Verification To review Product Conformance To review Work Products To review change requests and issues To test deliverables

3rd Mon. of month 2nd Mon. of month Every 1st Mon. of month Every 2nd Mon. of month Quarterly


Electron ic Meeting

Customer Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager, and Project Team Project Manager, and Project Team Department Manager

Project Manager Project Team Leader Project Team Leader Project Team Leader Project Manager







E-mail and Paper



Department Manager

Project Manager


As per QA Plan Once


Project Team Leader Customer



Product Conformance Review Work Product Review (Internal) Change requests/ issues review


Project Manager Project Team Leader Project Team Leader Project Team Leader


As needed As needed

Electron ic/Paper Electron ic

Project Team

Paper/Ele ctronic E-mail

Project Manager

User Acceptance Testing


Electron ic

Users and Customer



Project Progress

Monitoring, Tracking, Controlling, Managing How does a project get to be six months late? Control versus Risk

control – track progress, detect variances in plan, take corrective action


Project Status Report Status Report
Project Manager Project SAP ID Project Effort (in Manmonths) Project Budget (in US $) Project Start Date Project End Date Project Goals Related Projects

Reporting Period MM/dd/yy - MM/dd/yy Actual Costs $ Actual Effort (in Man-Months) MM Milestones Reached <Milestone 1> % Cost (A/E) % % Effort (A/E) % % Complete % Actual Date

Planned Date

Name/# <Deliverable 1> <Patch 1>

Deliverables/Patches Released Planned Date Actual Date Content Description

Rework Description

Current Activities <Step description> <Step description> Next Activities <Step description> Project Forecast <Step description> <Step description> Product Issues Status Risks Project Issues

Status Commentary:


Sample of a Team Member Status Report
Team Member Status Report
Project Name: Project Name Team Member Name: Your Name Reporting Period: Date Month 1999 - Date Month 1999 Task Status: Status Code
C O T L D K Project Plan Task # 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Completed Open Target Late Delayed by others Canceled Task Status Code %

Work Product Name/Location


Change Activity
# Change Request #
Change Request Status Code

Work Product Name/Location


# Risk Description

# Issue Description



Sample Stakeholder Analysis for Project Communications
Stakeholders Customer Management Customer Business Staff Customer Technical Staff Internal Management Internal Business and Technical Staff Training Subcontractor Software Subcontractor Document Name Monthly Status Report Monthly Status Report Monthly Status Report Monthly Status Report Monthly Status Report Training Plan Software Implementation Plan Document Format Hard copy Hard copy E-mail Hard copy Intranet Contact Person Due Gail Feldman, Tony Silva Julie Grant, Jeff Martin Evan Dodge, Nancy Michaels Bob Thomson Angie Liu First of month First of month First of month First of month First of month

Hard Copy E-mail

Jonathan Kraus Barbara Gates

11/1/1999 6/1/2000

Effective Meetings

Five rules

agenda in advance

everyone should come prepared avoid long meetings (one hour if practical) pass on information come to decision stay on track silence not necessarily consent keep on top of resulting action list

begin/end on time

for each agenda item
  

Draw people out

Record decisions & action assignments

Information Distribution

Getting right information to right people at right time & in useful format is just as important as developing information in first place Important considerations include

using technology to enhance information distribution formal and informal methods for distributing information

Performance Reporting

Performance reporting keeps stakeholders informed about how resources are being used to achieve project objectives

Status reports describe where the project stands at a specific point in time Progress reports describe what the project team has accomplished during a certain period of time Project forecasting predicts future project status and progress based on past information and trends Status review meetings often include performance reporting

Suggestions for Improving Project Communications
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 

Manage conflicts effectively Develop better communication skills Run effective meetings Management by walking around (MBWA)


Responsibility Matrix



Authority is the right of an individual to make the necessary decisions required to achieve his objectives or responsibilities. Responsibility is the assignment for completion of a specific event or activity. Accountability is the acceptance of success or failure.

R - Responsible for ultimate delivery and execution. A - Approves the course of action being chosen (Authority). S - Supports the task with resource(s), time or other material benefit(s). I - Input to the task, but does not have a critical contribution. C - Consults on an ad hoc ‘as required’ basis.

Responsibility Matrix (RASIC)

Responsibility Matrix
      

General management responsibility Operations management responsibility Specialized responsibility Who must be consulted Who may be consulted Who must be notified Who must approve


Responsibility Assignment Matrix (For Raw Material Procurement)
LEGEND General Management responsibility Specialized Responsibility Must be consulted Must be notified Must approve

Raw Material Procurement Prepare bill of materials Contact vendors Visit vendors Prepare purchase orders Authorize expenditures Place purchase orders Inspect raw materials Quality control testing Update inventory file Prepare inventory report Withdraw Materials

r so on Sp t ct en oje rtm r Pr pa ge er De na b Ma em M e fic am Of Te ct er o je ag Pr an tM jec

o Pr

Responsibility Matrix (RASIC)

The key to the RASIC charts function is that it ensures an activity has a defined owner and therefore gets done, as well as avoiding duplicate ownership. In addition, it recognizes that there is a sliding scale of involvement that minimizes abdication of partial responsibility for tasks that are not central to an individuals daily activity.

Responsibility Matrix (RASIC)

RASIC charts can be used at any level, where clarity of responsibility is required. The value of RASIC charts is that they can be custom tailored and constructed to fit the needs of individual programs and activities.


B) C) D) E) F)

Barriers to communication can be invisible to the casual observer but can often be greater obstacles than physical barriers. However, barriers do not include Channel Richness Filtering Selective Perception Language Information Overload

Sample Exercise  What are the communication barriers faced by Project Managers  Filtering  Selective Perception  Information Overload  Language  Anxiety

Sample Exercise  How project managers can overcome these communication barriers.  Use Feedback  Listen Actively  Constraint Emotions  Watch Body Language


Sample Exercise  What is RASIC?.
R - Responsible for ultimate delivery and execution. A - Approves the course of action being chosen (Authority) S - Supports the task with resource(s), time or other material benefit(s). I - Input to the task, but does not have a critical contribution. C - Consults on an ad hoc ‘as required’ basis.

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