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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2014
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 29 Communication Communication is multi-faceted. Getting it right requires being predictable in delivery, being the single source of truth for the project and ensuring infor mation is accessible. Often, projects are criticised by others outside the team for a lack of infor mation sharing. e parts of e ective communication that need to be managed to set the right attitude can be grouped under planning, purpose and predictability. Planning Communication is not an optional add-on to projects. e PM needs to commit to communication evidenced via a communications plan that is suitable to the project visibility, stakeholder pro le and impact. Identifying who the stakeholders are and the relationships with the project will help the project manager tailor the communication requirements. e plan also makes sure there is an owner in the team to develop the content and manage the ongoing communication processes, for example newsletters, presentations, brie ngs and team meetings. Purpose Ensure all communication has a purpose and is appropriate to the audience. Questioning whether the communication is for information or to be used as a trigger to facilitate change helps determine why it is being sent and the target audience. A periodic follow-up and asking for feedback is a good way to check that people are taking notice of the communications and demonstrates that the project team is serious about communicating. Predictability Once the cycle of when and how communication will happen is promised, it needs to be delivered. Not providing communication when and as promised causes noise for the PM which usually becomes a distraction and requires more e ort to close down. If the full communications can't be provided, send a brief note stating when the ne xt update will be provided. If the PM's attitude is that ad hoc communication will su ce, it is unlikely the PM can expect the audience to take the required action when the PM needs them to do so. ( Issue and risk management ese are important elements which provide both a near-ter m view of obstacles that are impacting progress and the broader in uences that may a ect the project. Risk management is often given a cursory tick in the box: risk identi cation done, impact analysis done, mitigation strategy w ritten. Where the initial analysis is awed or not undertaken, the register is reduced to a grab bag of items which are unquanti ed or unquali ed. An appropriate review would question how likely these risks are, what their likely impact is and, practically, how these risks could be managed. Similarly, issues that are not registered and reviewed tend not to be managed. e register facilitates visibility, communication and prioritisation. If the project manager does not take issue and risk management seriously, how can they expect any di erent attitude from the team? e three actions that can set the right attitude are registering, reviewing and resolving. Register Keep a register for risks and issues for tracking progress, resolution management and assignment of ownership. Team members need to be responsible for documenting these issues and risks. If it is important, it is worth the e ort to document. Review Conduct a regular review to make sure progress is being made and that the register is kept up-to-date. A periodic review to clean up the register by closing records that are no longer relevant helps keep the important items in focus. Statistics of raised, resolved and outstanding items demonstrate the attention being applied and provides a useful communication tool to tell stakeholders and team members that these items are important. Resolve Ensure issues are resolved and risk mitigation plans are implemented , allowing the project manager to be in control. Issues that are signi cantly aged or risks that have not been reviewed and had an agreed plan put in place are indicators that the PM is not on top of this area and suggests these items are not taken seriously. 2 3
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
Project Manager Apr May 2014