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You are here: Home Blogs Displaying items by tag: Communication
Project Management Blog
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 18:46

Good Requirements ARE SORTA NUTS

Have you ever let someone down even though you had tried your best and thought you were doing what they wanted? Few things are frustrating as putting forth tons of effort only to find out you were working on the wrong things.
Expectations are such an essential and common component of human relationships and communication that most of the time they are taken for granted. Taken for granted is exactly what expectations should not be.

Published in Blogs
The feature story in the March 2007 edition of PM Network, titled "Bridging the Gap", is a look at some of the differences in style and communication that newer professionals and project managers have compared to veterans. I enjoyed the article and found some points to agree with and some in conflict with my personal experiences.

In the article there is a quote from Dave Davis, PMP, asserting that "the younger generation doesn't grasp the value of face time and the importance of building a team identity...They avoid social time and group meetings and end up identifying more with the tasks than the team."

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 27 January 2007 16:53

Performance Reporting

PERFORMANCE REPORTING

Performance reporting involves six things:

  • Status reports How’s the project right now?
  • Progress reports How complete is the project? How much more work remains?
  • Forecasting Will this project end on schedule? Will the project be on budget? How much longer will this project take? And how much more money will this project need to finish?
  • Scope How is the project meeting the project scope?
  • Quality What are the results of quality audit, testing, and analysis?
  • Risks What risks have come into the project and what has been their affect on the project?

The goal of performance reporting - The purpose of reporting is to share information regarding the project performance with the appropriate stakeholders. Performance reporting is done on a regular schedule.

  • Performance reports - These are the results and summation of the project performance analysis. The Communications Management Plan will detail the type of report needed based on the conditions within the project, the timing of the communication, and the demands of the project stakeholder.
  • Change requests - Results of performance may prompt change requests to some area of the project. The change requests should flow into the change control system for consideration and approval or denial.

 

Forecasts - Have a basic understanding of Forecasts. Forecasts are updated and reissued based on work performance information provided as the project is executed. This information is about the project’s past performance that could impact the project in the future, for example, estimate at completion and estimate to complete.

Communicating change - Performance reports and change requests are an input to the following Change Control Processes:

  • Integrated Change Control
  • Scope Change Control
  • Schedule Change Control
  • Cost Change Control

 

Note: The project plan is one of the key inputs to performance reporting. The project plan contains the WBS, the project scope and requirements, and other documentation that can be used to measure project progress and performance. Other inputs to performance reporting are the work results. Work results can be examined and measured for quality, time spent completing the work, and the monies required to complete the work results. The work results, as progress reports or completion of work results, can be measured against the estimates and expectations to reveal variances. The Communications Management Plan will detail how values are measured, for example EVM, and at what point variances call for communications to the appropriate stakeholders. The last inputs to performance reporting are other project records, such as memos, product description, and other information relevant to the project. For example, a customer may request project status updates every quarter, regardless of where the project is in its timeline. Or a project may have multiple vendors whose contracts require differing levels and types of reporting from the project staff. This is a communication requirement that would be in the Communications Management Plan.

 

 

 

 

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 27 January 2007 16:50

Lessons Learned

Project Managers have a professional obligation to conduct lessons learned sessions for all projects. An example of specific lessons learned may include:

  • Update of the lessons learned knowledge base
  • Input to knowledge management systems
  • Updated corporate policies, procedures and processes
  • Improved business skills
  • Overall product and service improvements
  • Updates to the risk management plan

 

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 27 January 2007 16:27

Project Communications

Common sense and your own experience will play a large role in your ability to answer the questions on this topic.

Communication Processes defined: Communication is the link between people, ideas, and information. Project Communications Management includes four processes:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:36

Team Building

Project Managers need to posses certain “Soft Skills” otherwise referred to as General Management Skills.

In developing the project team, the PM is charged with performing a variety of tasks including, providing staff training, coordinating team building activities, establishing grounds rules, co-location and providing rewards and recognition.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:34

Acquiring the Project Team

Recruiting Team Members - The project manager has to follow the rules of the host organization. The PM must be aware of, and work well with, the levels of authority. If the PM is working within a Functional matrix, then he must be prepared to allow the employee’s functional manager to determine things like availability and the PM must provide feedback to the functional manager regarding performance. The PM has little authority to perform these tasks.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 18:25

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure

A WBS identifies all the tasks required to complete the project. The focus of the WBS can be either Product (deliverable) or Project oriented, or both. WBS elements are usually numbered, and the numbering system may be arranged in various manners. If a WBS is extensive and if the category content is not obvious to the project team members, it may be useful to write a WBS Dictionary. This describes what is in each WBS element. It may also say what is not in an element. The primary purpose of the WBS is to develop or create small manageable chunks of work called work packages.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:37

Project Management Plan

The project plan is a key integrative document that uses the outputs of the other planning processes to create a consistent, coherent document that is the guide to both project execution and project control. Be familiar with what the project plan is used for and what items are often included in a project plan. The PM uses it to guide project execution, to document our planning assumptions, to document planning decisions regarding some of the alternatives that we have chosen. We use it to facilitate communication among the stakeholders and define key management reviews as to content, expense, and timing. It is a baseline for progress measurement and project control.

The project management plan can be either summary level or detailed, and can be composed of one or more subsidiary plans and other components. Each of the subsidiary plans and components is detailed to the extent required by the specific project.

The Develop Project Management Plan process includes the actions necessary to define, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans into a project management plan. The project management plan content will vary depending upon the application area and complexity of the project. This process results in a project management plan that is updated and revised through the Integrated Change Control process. It also defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. The purpose of planning is to develop a Project Plan.


Subsidiary plans

  • Project scope management plan
  • Schedule management plan
  • Cost management plan
  • Quality management plan
  • Process improvement plan
  • Staffing management plan
  • Communication management plan
  • Risk management plan
  • Procurement management plan

Other key components include, but are not limited to:

  • Milestone list
  • Resource calendar
  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline
  • Quality baseline
  • Risk register
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