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You are here: Home Blogs Displaying items by tag: communications
Project Management Blog
Thursday, 22 March 2007 10:02

The Success Conundrum

I hope that since you are reading this, you are a project management proponent and interested in “spreading the word” so to speak.  Many of us find ourselves a lone voice in the wilderness singing the praises of project management, yet unable to make any headway. 

Why is this so and what can be done about it? How do we get those obstinate so-and-sos to listen? 

In one way we are our own worst enemy.  Our consistent success and brilliant performance is often interpreted by others as an inherent talent.  In other words, we are seen as good at project management in the same way that musicians are seen as good musicians – it’s a talent thing.   Now, not taking away from anyone’s talent, our personal attributes are not the only cause of our success – you know that or you would not be reading this.  The first hurdle then is to demonstrate that skill AND talent make good project managers, that you can learn this and be good – never as good as those of us who are truly talented, but – hey - not everyone can be the best... just us J This means that success alone can not demonstrate the benefits of project management – let me say that differently – the prevailing mindset in a capability-maturity ignorant world is that people alone create success.  

I’m not saying that a great process can overcome incompetence, it can’t.  Nor am I suggesting that you credit your achievements solely to a great methodology (you worked hard!) – so what do you do? There are a lot of actions you can take, but since I’m a PMO guy, I’ll start there.  In the case of building a PM culture, a PMO can succeed where individual achievements fall short.  A PMO is an organizational entity, and as such does not suffer from the success conundrum. 

When a PMO succeeds, the prevailing opinion will be “they must be doing something right.”  This process-oriented point of view is an opening into organizational consciousness.  If you don’t have a PMO, consider creating a community of practice around project management.  Meet with other PMs and share ideas and practices.  Publish these on the company’s intranet (if you have one).  Send emails on PM topics or print articles and pass them around. 

I’ve really had some good luck with sharing short articles and ideas via email.  In fact I just sent another one using Josh Nankivel’s article on Theory of Constraints.  The cartoon is great, and fun communications never hurts!   So that’s my first two cents, PMOs and other PM-based organizations are a great way to demonstrate and communicate the benefits of our profession, get together with your peers and spread the word.

 

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 16:49

Management Styles

Management Styles: The Project Communications Management section of the exam may address the following management styles:

Authoritarian: Lets individuals know what is expected of them; gives specific guidance; expects adherence to rules and standards
Combative: Eager to fight or be disagreeable over any situation
Conciliatory: Friendly and agreeable; attempts to unite players into a compatible working team
Disruptive: Tends to disrupt unity and cause disorder
Ethical: Honest and sincere; presses for fair solutions; goes “by the book”
Facilitating: Does not interfere with day-to-day tasks, but is available for help and guidance when needed
Intimidating: Reprimands employees for the sake of a “tough guy” image
Judicial: Applies sound judgment
Promotional: Cultivates team spirit; rewards good work; encourages subordinates to realize their full potential
Secretive: Not open or outgoing in speech, activity, or purpose

 

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 27 January 2007 16:47

Information Distribution

Information can be distributed through the following as well as other methods, according to project demands and as technology provides:

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 21:34

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
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