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Information Systems Project Management


Over the next 2 classes we'll study the topic of Communications Management, ... Ineffective meetings are a big time-waster at most companies proper control of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Information Systems Project Management

(No Transcript)
Information Systems Project Management
  • Communications Management
  • Part I

Communications Management
  • Over the next 2 classes well study the topic of
    Communications Management, closely linked to HR

Communications Management
  • The PMBOK defines Communications Management as
    the Knowledge Area that employs the processes
    required to ensure timely and appropriate
    generation, collection, storage retrieval and
    ultimate disposition of project information

Communications Management
  • The PMBOK goes on to say that this is where the
    critical link is established between the project
    team members and the information they need to be
  • Your author notes that most experts would agree
    that failure to communicate is the greatest
    threat to project success
  • In my experience, this area is why most good
    projects are good and where most bad ones go
  • Convergys Sunrise Expansion Story

Communications Management
  • Your author goes on to make some very good points
    re technology project communications
  • As technology advances, the potential
    communication gap between users and developers
  • Id add that as global dispersion of teams
    increases, so does that gap
  • Technology education programs stress developing
    technical skills versus soft skills such as
  • Yet studies have consistently shown an equal or
    greater need for the soft skills, and they
    generally have a much longer shelf life than
    technical skills

Communications Management
  • There is a large body of knowledge on the area of
  • Project Communications Management is often more
    difficult due to its temporary nature, especially
    with virtual teams that are scattered across
  • But it helps to start by looking at some general
    communications concepts

Communications Management
  • Communications Concepts
  • Sender-Receiver Models EncodinggtMessagegtDecoding
  • Media
  • Oral vs Written
  • Formal vs Informal
  • Face-to-Face vs Remote (e-mail / v-mail)
  • Noise / Barriers

Communications Management
  • Types of Noise / Barriers
  • Lack of clear communication channels
  • Physical distance between sender/receiver
  • Temporal distance between sender/receiver
  • Technical Language Difficulties
  • Distractions
  • Detrimental attitudes

Communications Management
  • The PMBOK breaks down Communications Management
  • Communications Planning
  • Information Distribution
  • Performance Reporting
  • Manage Stakeholders

Communications Management
  • Communications Planning determines the
    information and communications needs of the
    stakeholders and a suitable means of meeting
    those needs
  • It is tightly linked with enterprise
    environmental factors and organizational
  • It relies heavily on lessons learned and
    historical information from past projects
  • Can help head off wasted communication time later

Communications Management
  • Communications Planning Tools are
  • A Communications Requirements Analysis
  • Project resources expended on communicating only
    information needed for project success
  • Communications Technology Factors
  • Urgency of information need
  • Availability of technology
  • Make-up of project team
  • Expected project length
  • Project environment (virtual or co-located)

Communications Management
  • To determine communication requirements, you
    typically need
  • Company project organization charts
  • Resource types involved in the project
  • Size location(s) of project team
  • Stakeholder information / relationships
  • Internal external communication needs

Communications Management
  • Author shared a good list for the communications
    management plan to address
  • Stakeholder communication requirements
  • Information to be communicated
  • Who will produce and receive which information
  • Methods/Technologies use to convey information
  • Frequency
  • Escalation procedures
  • Plan revision procedures
  • Glossary of common project terminology

Communications Management
  • One other thing to consider in gauging the
    complexity on planning for communication on a
    large project
  • The formula for total number of communication
    channels is (n(n-1))/2, where n number of

Communications Management
  • So who can tell me how many potential
    communication channels there would be on a
    project comprised of 100 staff?

Communications Management
  • The answer is
  • (100(100-1))/2 9900/2 4950
  • That doesnt mean all channels will be exercised,
    but it does mean they need to be considered in

Communications Management
  • To wrap up Project Communications Planning, the
    output is a plan including
  • The Communication Item
  • The items purpose
  • Its frequency
  • Its start and end dates
  • The format medium
  • Its owner

Communications Management
  • Once we have a plan, we turn our attention to
    Information Distribution, which involves making
    information available to project stakeholders in
    a timely manner
  • An effective PM has to be able to communicate
    effectively with management, the team, other
    teams and the customer(s), using communication
    skills to nurture those relationships

Communications Management
  • Clearly important in Information Distribution are
    Communication Skills
  • Sender responsible for making sure that what is
    sent is clear complete
  • Receiver responsible for ensuring that what is
    received is complete and understood
  • There is also use of past lessons learned to
    continually improve distribution methods

Communications Management
  • Communication Dimensions
  • Written Oral
  • Speaking Listening
  • Internal to Project External
  • Formal Informal
  • Vertical Horizontal
  • Different people respond differently to different
  • Certain dimensions are inappropriate for specific
    types of communication (situational)
  • One communication will usually have multiple
    dimensions to consider

Communications Management
  • What dimensions would a lunchtime conversation of
    two co-workers about the latest organization
    announcement cover?
  • How about an annual performance appraisal?

Communications Management
  • The lunchtime conversation of two co-workers
    would be oral, involve both speaking listening,
    likely internal and horizontal, and certainly
  • The annual performance appraisal would be both
    oral written, involve both speaking
    listening, internal and vertical, and certainly
    formal in nature

Communications Management
  • Some additional solid tips from your author
  • People are the backbone of projects, and they
    generally like interacting to get a feeling of
    how the project is going
  • IT professionals typically have different
    personality traits than the general population,
    which can result in miscommunication if not dealt
    with appropriately
  • Geographic location and cultural background is
    beginning to take on more importance as a
    communications management challenge due to growth
    of global work teams

Communications Management
  • The next process area within Communications
    Management is Performance Reporting, which
    involves the collection of all baseline data and
    distribution of performance information to
  • Provides data on scope, schedule, cost quality

Communications Management
  • Performance Reporting
  • Compares work results (project performance
    deliverables status) with project baselines as
    set out in the project management plan
  • Provides data in the form of performance reports
    on scope, schedule, cost quality
  • The results of the earned value calculations we
    did a few classes ago are a good example of such
    performance reporting
  • Author suggests use of status review meetings to
  • Highlight important information from project
  • Empower people to be accountable for their work
  • Have face-to-face discussions about critical
    project issues

Communications Management
  • The last Communications process area is Manage
    Stakeholders, which refers to meeting project
    stakeholder communication needs
  • Managing stakeholders increases the likelihood
    that the project will not veer off track due to
    unresolved stakeholders issues, enhances the
    ability of persons to operate synergistically,
    and limits disruptions during the project
  • The project manager is responsible for this

Communications Management
  • To build effective team communications, the PM
    has to be an effective role model
  • Must be an effective communicator
  • Must be an information expeditor
  • Megaphone example
  • Must break down communication barriers
  • Convergys Bristol example
  • Author suggests use of
  • Expectations Management Matrix to prioritize
    scope, time, cost and other goals of the project
  • Issues Log to document/monitor issue resolution
  • But dont allow yourself to get mired in trivial

Communications Management
  • To build effective team communications, the PM
    should properly set up the turf
  • Should have a War Room that is the sole
    jurisdiction of the project
  • Is acknowledged repository for all team
  • Helps create project identity and esprit-de-corps
  • May be actual room if co-located, or may be
    electronic if dispersed

Communications Management
  • To build effective team communications, the PM
    has to establish a meeting policy
  • First, determine if the meeting is needed at all
  • Determine who should attend (no casts of
  • Allow enough lead time and schedule for a
    date/time everyone can attend (even more critical
    for virtual global teams)
  • Provide a focused agenda before the meeting (even
    more critical for virtual global teams to sharpen

Communications Management
  • To build effective team communications, the PM
    has to establish a meeting policy (continued)
  • Run the meeting professionally
  • Follow the agenda (appoint a facilitator)
  • Clarify decisions and action items
  • Encourage participation (need more focus on this
    with virtual global teams use of technology
    such as NetMeeting would help)
  • Use the meeting to build important project team
  • Take and issue minutes
  • Follow up on action items

Communications Management
  • Meeting Policy (cont)
  • Meetings can fail for many reasons, a few of
    which are
  • Improper meeting planning
  • Ineffective meeting facilitation
  • Improper conduct of participants
  • Ineffective meetings are a big time-waster at
    most companies proper control of this can
    restore a lot of precious time to a schedule

Communications Management
  • Management Styles a PM might use
  • Authoritative Combative
  • Conciliatory Disruptive
  • Ethical Facilitating
  • Intimidating Judicial
  • Promotional Secretive
  • Can you see why some of these styles might not be
    optimal in certain situations?

Communications Management
  • Conflict Management Styles a PM might use
  • Confrontation (Problem-Solving favored by PMs)
  • Compromise (Second favorite of PMs)
  • Smoothing (Stressing areas of agreement)
  • Forcing (Win-Lose)
  • Withdrawal (Least desirable)
  • Project managers need to work with teams to
    develop norms for various conflict resolution
  • Conflict resolution is a core PM competency!

Communications Management
  • General Management Skills a PM might use
  • Leading
  • Communicating
  • Negotiating
  • Problem Solving
  • Influencing
  • Can you see why all of these skills would be
    required for a good project manager?

Communications Management
  • Some good additional PM tips from your author
  • Put guidelines in place for e-mail use
  • Provide templates for common documents
  • Use new technologies available (such as IM, cell
  • Because they can increase productivity
  • Because youll need to in order to satisfy
    changing customer and workforce expectations
  • Make sure to put communication infrastructure in
    place to handle virtual team members, including
  • Recognize that improving an organizations
    ability to communicate often requires cultural
    changes that are difficult and time-consuming
  • The PMs role is that of facilitator

  • Any Questions?
  • Well pick this up in our next class
  • No new assignment
  • See you then!