CompTIA Project+ PK0-003

Project Communication Management

by Steve Caseley

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What is Project Management

Project+ and how to prepare for the exam

Pre-Project Setup

Project Planning

Prepare Scope Statement

Create WBS and WBS Dictionary

Define Change Management Process

Develop Project Schedule and Resources and Roles

PERT/GANTT/CPM and Schedule Compression

Communications Management Plan

Risk Management Plan

Quality Management Plan

Cost Management Plan

Procurement Management Plan

Transition and Project Management Plan

Human Resource Management

Project Governance

Project Tracking

Project Change Management

Project Risk Management

Project Quality Management

Project Delivery Management

Earned Value Management

Project Communication Management

00:00:00 - And to close out 4.0 Change Control and Communications, we are
00:00:06 - going to tackle the last 2 components. 4.8, which I have labeled
00:00:09 - project communications and 4.9 which I have labeled distributed
00:00:14 - project management. The official words from the CompTIA project
00:00:18 - plus is 4.8. Given a scenario manage and implement information
00:00:24 - distribution based on communications plan and 4.9,
00:00:29 - recognizing the special communication needs a remote and/or indirect
00:00:36 - team members and I think the CompTIA elaboration on project communications
00:00:41 - is bang on implement the communications management plan defined
00:00:47 - in project planning. Effectively,
00:00:51 - if you do everything you said in the communications management
00:00:54 - plan you have affectively satisfied 4.8
00:00:59 - and to round out this nugget if you will discuss specific components
00:01:04 - related to distributed project management, but first let's go
00:01:09 - back and have a brief look at that communications management
00:01:12 - plan to make sure we have the processes in place so that during
00:01:16 - execution we are properly executing the communications management
00:01:21 - plan. Larger communications is all about implementing
00:01:29 - the communications
00:01:33 - management plan and as I said in the introduction if you implement,
00:01:39 - if you do everything you said in the communications management
00:01:42 - plan we are done, 4.8 is done, but doing everything in the communications
00:01:48 - management plan is a significant amount of work, we need to gather
00:01:53 - the information required to do our project communications to
00:01:57 - determine our project status
00:02:02 - and our project risks and our project issues
00:02:07 - and every thing else related to the project. So there is a lot
00:02:11 - of work and information gathering. Then we as project managers
00:02:15 - need to do a little analysis on that information gathered.
00:02:21 - Then we need to distribute the information
00:02:24 - using the tools and techniques identified in the communications
00:02:28 - management plan. We identified in the communications management
00:02:32 - plan that we are going to produce a weekly status report, the
00:02:35 - weekly status report is going to be done as a Word Document and
00:02:39 - the weekly status report is going to follow a format defined
00:02:42 - in the communications management plan so we do exactly what we
00:02:46 - said using the tools, using the techniques, using the frequency
00:02:51 - and using the audience that was documented in the communications
00:02:55 - management plan. And just because I don't think that we can
00:03:00 - get away in a discussion on project communications without discussing
00:03:03 - meetings. Meetings are absolute necessary part of effective project
00:03:08 - delivery, a lot of people say, "Oh, yuck, meetings, meetings
00:03:13 - are a waste of time, I wish I could delivery a project without
00:03:17 - meetings." Well I don't believe it is possible to delivery a
00:03:20 - project without meetings so it is part of an effective project
00:03:23 - communication strategy. We need to have an effective strategy
00:03:27 - for managing meetings and I will share with you a few tips and
00:03:30 - hints that I have for making my project management meetings effective. But
00:03:36 - first, let's have another look at information gathering, information
00:03:41 - gathering. This particular bit of information may look very familiar
00:03:45 - to you, it should, this is exactly the same information I shared
00:03:49 - with you during a previous nugget on project delivery management.
00:03:55 - Project delivery management is all about gathering the information
00:03:58 - that we need to do effective project delivery management. Project
00:04:02 - communications is a direct followed from effective project delivery
00:04:06 - management. So in order to do effective project delivery management
00:04:10 - and in order to have effective project communications we need
00:04:14 - to gather the same information. The good news is as project
00:04:18 - manager, you don't have to gather the same information twice
00:04:21 - in a give day or a given week, we simply gather all of the radio
00:04:25 - information that we need for effective project delivery management
00:04:29 - and now for effective communications management and the list
00:04:32 - is the same. We need to find out what the team is working on.
00:04:35 - We need their actuals,
00:04:38 - we need the ETC's as previously discussed and specific for project
00:04:43 - communications management we probably need the team member
00:04:51 - status. Here is what I did
00:04:58 - in writing
00:05:01 - as opposed to here is what I did in actuals. I spent 3.6 hours
00:05:05 - on task 5 we want them to tell us what they did. For task 5
00:05:10 - for this week I developed the unit test plan and I developed
00:05:16 - my strategy for wiring the code. We need to know what they did,
00:05:20 - we need to know what the planned,
00:05:23 - but didn't get to,
00:05:27 - we need to know their problems,
00:05:29 - their issues
00:05:32 - and their warnings,
00:05:34 - because we are going to consolidate all of that information from
00:05:37 - the individual team member status report into our weekly status
00:05:41 - report and eventually into our monthly status report. Again,
00:05:45 - using that we defined in our communications management plan,
00:05:50 - same as an effective delivery management we need to understand
00:05:54 - what is going on in our project risk, our project issues, you
00:05:58 - need to understand what the impact of tracking the actuals applying
00:06:03 - risk management has had on our schedule and we obviously need
00:06:07 - to understand what the impact of actual project delivery is going
00:06:11 - to have on our budget. We
00:06:13 - are going to summarize.
00:06:17 - We are going to analyze
00:06:21 - and we are going to distribute
00:06:25 - a weekly status report.
00:06:30 - A monthly status report
00:06:34 - stakeholder steering committee updates, quarterly executive updates.
00:06:39 - We are going to again effectively gather, analyze and distribute
00:06:45 - every piece of information as promised in the communications
00:06:50 - management plan.
00:06:52 - After we have gathered all of the appropriate information related
00:06:55 - to our current project status on a weekly basis we need to analyze
00:07:00 - it. We need to determine if the actuals and the budget allows
00:07:06 - us to determine if we are on crack and on budget. We need to
00:07:10 - understand from our narratives from our team members whether
00:07:13 - we are delivering the project to specification to agreed standard.
00:07:17 - Do I hear earned value management, anyone,
00:07:22 - a lot of our project execution and control features are cumulative
00:07:28 - and supportive of each other, so we gather the information for
00:07:33 - effective project delivery management we gather the same information
00:07:36 - and we gather it only ones for effective communications management. We
00:07:40 - use that information management as part of analysis and as we
00:07:45 - just went through a very extensive
00:07:48 - nugget on earned value management, I would suggest a very effective
00:07:53 - tool for analyzing other project information of earned value
00:07:58 - management to determine are we on budget, are we on schedule,
00:08:03 - are we delivering to the defined scope and we need to gather
00:08:07 - extra information from our quality manager, from our team members,
00:08:11 - from our business from every direction with their deliverables
00:08:15 - are we delivering to the agreed specification of quality. And
00:08:20 - we need to do that as project managers on a continual basis,
00:08:24 - weekly, as part of the weekly status report cycle, monthly as
00:08:29 - part of the monthly status report cycle recognizing that it is
00:08:32 - going to be at a different level of summary and a different level
00:08:35 - of abstraction but this is an on going process that we as project
00:08:39 - managers need to apply and once we have done the analysis, we
00:08:43 - will then formulate craft our status reports and we will go in
00:08:48 - to the distribution of them and without sounding a total broken
00:08:52 - record we distribute according to the communications
00:08:56 - management plan. Did
00:08:58 - we say we are going to produce a weekly status report? We do
00:09:02 - it. In what form?
00:09:06 - On what day?
00:09:10 - How? By email,
00:09:14 - in person
00:09:17 - scheduled, status meeting...
00:09:24 - whatever the communications management plan says is how we deliver
00:09:29 - our weekly status report, how we deliver a monthly status report,
00:09:33 - how we delivery our quarterly updates management briefings
00:09:42 - etcetera. I
00:09:44 - spent a lot of time in this nugget and in previous nugget talking
00:09:48 - about the importance of weekly status reports and monthly status
00:09:52 - reports. Now that we are in the actual communications execution
00:09:57 - I would like to share with you a sample of a weekly status report
00:10:02 - and the sample of a monthly status report that I have used as
00:10:05 - part of my project delivery.
00:10:08 - And here is a very unembellished example of a effective project
00:10:14 - weekly status report and I say unembellished I would typically
00:10:17 - have company logos I would typically have, maybe a project, a
00:10:22 - picture to symbolize what the project is so I would spiff this
00:10:25 - up a little bit to make it a little more eye pleasing, but it
00:10:29 - doesn't change from the basic type of information that should
00:10:32 - be captured on a project weekly status report and distributed
00:10:37 - on a project weekly status report remembering my expectation
00:10:40 - is I use the same style of weekly status report to distribute
00:10:45 - to my steering committee, to my sponsors, to my acceptor
00:10:51 - as I would expect my team members to deliver to me. So we start
00:10:55 - off with the name of the project,
00:10:59 - the period-
00:11:01 - I'm sorry, the name of the project, who's the status report from?
00:11:05 - So I would again my project,
00:11:10 - this is from myself
00:11:13 - and the period of June 1st to June 6. I would expect the same
00:11:19 - sort of thing to be coming from my team members
00:11:22 - and here would probably be the only significant change I would
00:11:26 - make in this form between what I would expect to get from my
00:11:29 - team members, meaning what I, was it able to accomplish as in
00:11:33 - my team members and what the project-
00:11:40 - I could type, I would be dangerous, wouldn't I? What the project
00:11:44 - was able to accomplish this week? And I would detail. This
00:11:47 - week the project accomplished, colon, new line, bullet,
00:11:54 - started development. Three new line, new bullet, three unit test
00:12:01 - plans created. New line, new bullet, four development strategies
00:12:07 - develop. Bullet, or new line bullet two modules started.
00:12:15 - Layout in fairly significant detail, all of the detailed project
00:12:20 - status that I got from my team members,
00:12:23 - I also would like to very much find out from my team members
00:12:28 - what they didn't get to. Last
00:12:30 - week on Friday afternoon when they produced their weekly status
00:12:34 - report to me they had great intentions and great plans of accomplishing
00:12:38 - A, B, C, D, E and
00:12:41 - F. And where did they get those goals and aspirations from, I
00:12:45 - hope they got them directly from my project schedule from the
00:12:48 - work right down structure. The tasks assigned to them for this
00:12:51 - week would be A, B, C, D, E and F so that should be what they
00:12:56 - were hoping to do this coming week. And here I want them to
00:13:00 - say, "I tried but I didn't get to task
00:13:09 - E because..."
00:13:12 - Again, I want full open honest disclosure from the team members
00:13:18 - telling me what they had planned to work on and didn't get to.
00:13:23 - A planning to work on and didn't get to is an early sign of trouble,
00:13:28 - they wanted to work on them, they didn't get to it because they
00:13:31 - ran out of time. My estimates have a challenge. They wanted to
00:13:36 - get to it but didn't get to it because prerequisites were not
00:13:40 - available, sign of trouble that some of my other team members
00:13:44 - may not be completing work on time or some external agent that
00:13:48 - I am relying on has not provided the input to the project that
00:13:51 - I want. So I want them to be very blunt and honest to me what
00:13:55 - they had planned to accomplish, but we are not able to get to
00:13:58 - and I will use that same degree of bluntness and honesty when
00:14:02 - I am reporting this back to my project sponsor. We are having
00:14:06 - problems getting as much work done as completed because the learning
00:14:12 - curve is higher than expected and you have heard me announce
00:14:15 - that story 15 times through this nugget series.
00:14:18 - Another huge telling piece of a weekly status report is on planned
00:14:24 - work accomplished. They were supposed to do A, B, C, D, and
00:14:30 - E based on the work breakdown structure and the work assigned
00:14:32 - to them. They only did A, B, and C and they also did these other
00:14:37 - things because
00:14:44 - I should just stop typing. I ran into
00:14:50 - the sponsor
00:14:53 - in the hallway
00:14:56 - and he asked me to do this.
00:15:03 - Those hallway conversations are often one of the biggest factors
00:15:07 - of this thing called scope creek that is going to happen on your
00:15:11 - project. Your team members are in the hallway walking through
00:15:14 - the cafeteria going to get a cup of coffee and they ran in to
00:15:18 - a member of the business community and they say, "How is it going?"
00:15:21 - "Good, good." "Well, what is going on?" "Would you mind checking
00:15:25 - out this? I think we might have to do this as part of the project.
00:15:28 - Could you spend a little bit of time finding out what the impact
00:15:31 - of that is going to be?" As soon as our team members start working
00:15:35 - on, on planned work to me that is an absolute red flag that scope
00:15:41 - creek is happening and again I want my team members to be brutally
00:15:45 - honest with those hallway conversations with those other things
00:15:50 - are taking on that are project related, that I need as a project
00:15:54 - manager to control of her or those other things that happened
00:15:58 - in the day-to-day life of an employee that are not project related
00:16:03 - that are taking time away from my project that again I need to
00:16:07 - work with my management to get those other duties and tasks as
00:16:11 - assigned removed to my team members so that they continue to
00:16:15 - work on the project as assigned. And
00:16:19 - then I want them to take the time, dust off the project plan,
00:16:23 - look at the work breakdown structure and understand what work
00:16:27 - I am expecting them to work on next week and I want them to literally
00:16:30 - reiterate their work plan back to me so that A, I can validate.
00:16:36 - They are working on the right tasks and B, that I can then reference
00:16:41 - it from week to week.
00:16:43 - The last week I knew they were trying to do A, B, C, and E I
00:16:47 - better see right here that they are working on A, B, C, D and
00:16:50 - E and if they are not they need to be telling me, "Why not?" And
00:16:54 - if they were expecting me to work on A, B, C, D, and E and I
00:16:58 - didn't get an either accomplishment or planned and not accomplished,
00:17:03 - things are falling off the radar and again it is a clue to me
00:17:08 - that I need to get with that team member and understand what
00:17:10 - is happening in their work plan, that things are not working
00:17:14 - according to the Microsoft project plan to the project schedule.
00:17:20 - And then finally, I want my team members again to be brutally
00:17:23 - honest with me and tell me problems, issues and warnings, within
00:17:27 - my little view of the world these are the things that are bothering
00:17:31 - me. And sometimes my little view of the world can identify huge
00:17:38 - critical risks that the project management team to take action
00:17:42 - on so again I am going to encourage the team members to tell
00:17:45 - me what is keeping them awake at night
00:17:48 - as I said in the discussion and communications planning. I am
00:17:51 - going to cut and paste for my individual team members into my
00:17:55 - project weekly status report and I am going to paraphrase, I
00:17:58 - am going to summarize, I am going to maybe turn some of the less
00:18:03 - than full pros into better English but I am literally going to
00:18:07 - cut and paste and summarize the details from my individual team
00:18:12 - members and produce the weekly status report following the same
00:18:16 - format and the same strategy for reporting my status upwards
00:18:21 - in my management structure and outwards into the business organization. And
00:18:27 - here is an example of a project monthly status report that I
00:18:30 - would use on a project, again I would embellish it, I would put
00:18:33 - some logos, I would put some more identifying project based information
00:18:37 - and corporate identity into my template but the basic format
00:18:42 - is consistent, same basic idea, tombstone information project
00:18:46 - name for reporting period and prepared by. One difference you
00:18:50 - can probably distinguish between my monthly status report and
00:18:54 - weekly status report is I have lost the table format and I am
00:18:58 - putting it into a more narrative format and that is delivered. My
00:19:02 - weekly status report I had in the in a table format because at
00:19:06 - least my perception is the table format is going to suggest brevity.
00:19:11 - It is going to try to keep my team members and myself from writing
00:19:16 - the long narrative pros. I am going to do my best to try to fit
00:19:19 - each component of my status report into a line in the table.
00:19:24 - It keeps it short, it keeps it succinct and it keeps the team
00:19:27 - member focused on telling me just the facts and not telling me
00:19:32 - their life history. As
00:19:33 - I roll this up to a monthly status report I probably need to
00:19:39 - lose some of the brevity and I probably need to start to stretch
00:19:43 - my composition skills and produce a better piece of literary
00:19:49 - art because the monthly status report is going to go to more
00:19:52 - senior managers, so they are going to expect a more formal and
00:19:57 - more polished status report, but in the same behalf they are
00:20:01 - not going to want to look at 26 pages of a monthly status report.
00:20:05 - They are going to want my monthly status report in a page or
00:20:08 - two, which his why when I come down to my first section, major
00:20:14 - accomplishments this month. A monthly status report doesn't
00:20:18 - care about the fact that I have three modules in unit test plan
00:20:23 - creation, a major accomplishment would be development has started
00:20:30 - unit test plans are under way, system test plan has been initiated
00:20:36 - so these are major accomplishments at the appropriate level of
00:20:39 - summary based on the audience for the monthly status report
00:20:44 - and in terms of the true project status that is as far as I am
00:20:49 - going to go on the monthly status report. A monthly status report
00:20:51 - is not going to go to the level of detail. Here is what I worked
00:20:54 - on and here is what I wanted to work on here is what I worked
00:20:58 - on that. I shouldn't have worked on. We are simply going to produce
00:21:01 - the major accomplishments and we are going to introduce a new
00:21:05 - component as part of our monthly status report that we don't
00:21:09 - do in a weekly basis is we are going to do summarization of the
00:21:13 - overall project health. Now we are probably not going to present
00:21:17 - earned value numbers per se and call them BAC's and ETC's and
00:21:23 - EAC's, but we are going to summarize this and say the original
00:21:28 - project budget is $50,000.
00:21:30 - I have spent to date
00:21:33 - $23,000 and from earned value we are going to conclude the estimate
00:21:40 - to complete
00:21:43 - and from earned value, we are going to tell them the variance. Now
00:21:47 - earned value doesn't hold the formula on variance obviously the
00:21:53 - variance since the total project budget minus the spending to
00:21:57 - date, minus the estimate to complete the variance, but we are
00:22:00 - going to start to provide some of that true project health information
00:22:05 - in our weekly status report and we are going to do more or less
00:22:08 - the same on the same on the project schedule. Effort
00:22:11 - expended to date, remaining effort, percent complete and we may
00:22:16 - want to add in the
00:22:19 - variance and so on we are appropriate, develop the specifics
00:22:24 - for your monthly status report based on what you promised to
00:22:27 - deliver in the communications management plan and then finally
00:22:32 - we are going to close our monthly status report with our major
00:22:35 - issues and risks. Here is the big issues, number one and number
00:22:38 - two that I am tracking, I would probably give it a quick status
00:22:41 - that says, "Tracking it, believe it is going to be okay. I just
00:22:46 - wanted to let you know that it is on my radar."
00:22:50 - Weekly status reports, monthly status reports, based on the communications
00:22:55 - management plan you draw the raw data from your team, you do
00:22:59 - the appropriate analysis and summarization, hopefully bringing
00:23:02 - in a little earned value. You got to keep putting plugs in there
00:23:05 - for the earned value because I believe it is a terrific tool
00:23:08 - in our tool box and then we are going to present it in the appropriate
00:23:13 - fashion, we are going to do the appropriate communications. We
00:23:16 - are going to do the appropriate distribution based on what was
00:23:19 - said in our project communications management plan. And
00:23:24 - as I said in the introduction I don't think it would be appropriate
00:23:27 - to conclude a section on project communications without discussing
00:23:31 - meetings. Meetings are absolutely critical. Projects are delivered
00:23:36 - based on developing common understanding of the project objectives,
00:23:41 - based on developing common acceptance of project deliverables
00:23:45 - and you are only going to develop that commonality through meetings
00:23:49 - so accept that meetings are critical part of project delivery
00:23:54 - and work very hard to insure your project has effective meetings. Here
00:23:59 - are four principles that I believe if applied very rigorously
00:24:04 - will absolutely improve the state of the acceptance of, the appreciation
00:24:11 - of meetings in your project team.
00:24:14 - Meetings should always have an agenda. People should always know
00:24:19 - in advance what it is the meeting is hoping to achieve and what
00:24:24 - the expected outcomes are going to be. That allows them to be
00:24:28 - prepared. With a known agenda we should make sure that we invite
00:24:34 - only the absolutely necessary attendees
00:24:40 - and again this is one that I am almost fanatical about enforcing
00:24:46 - meetings have these habit of getting large and unruly because,
00:24:50 - "Oh, there is a meeting. I wonder what they are talking about.
00:24:55 - I probably should go just to find out if they are talking about."
00:24:58 - Anything that would be off relevance to myself and they can quickly
00:25:03 - become time wasters because the wrong people come just in case
00:25:07 - there is something of relevance to themselves so you are wasting
00:25:11 - project time and budget, but more importantly if you have these
00:25:14 - unnecessary and I want to use the word un-appropriate attendees
00:25:19 - there and they are not getting what they wanted at the meeting
00:25:23 - because they shouldn't have been there. There is always the
00:25:26 - absolute risk that these uninvited attendees are going to side
00:25:31 - track your meeting down post that the meeting agenda did not
00:25:36 - even contemplate taking on so invite only the necessary attendees
00:25:42 - and I am again militant on this when somebody shows up at meeting
00:25:48 - who I didn't invite. I will say, "Welcome,
00:25:52 - why are you here?
00:25:54 - Welcome, why are you here? Please justify to me why you believe
00:26:01 - you should attend this meeting?" and if they can justify, "Oh
00:26:06 - you are right, I am terribly sorry, I should have invited you.
00:26:09 - Are you prepared to attend this meeting? Have you done the background
00:26:13 - reading?" "Oh good, okay, please come join us. I would love you
00:26:17 - to join us." So
00:26:19 - I am not perfect, I make mistakes and sometimes I miss inviting
00:26:22 - people I should and when they can justify that and they can prove
00:26:27 - to me they are prepared for the meeting I am more than welcome
00:26:30 - them in and that is the next aspect of having an agenda and having
00:26:36 - only the right attendees is insure they are prepared.
00:26:41 - If there is pre- reading that we expect them to read before the
00:26:46 - meeting starts I almost quizzed them before the meeting starts.
00:26:50 - "Has everybody read the material? Is everybody prepared to attend
00:26:54 - this meeting and be productive members?" And
00:26:58 - I would expect the attendees to be honest and say, "No, Steve
00:27:01 - it has been a really hectic 3 days, I really thought I was going
00:27:05 - to get to it yesterday afternoon, but I didn't. I took it home
00:27:09 - with me last night with the full intentions of reading it at
00:27:11 - home, but I just didn't get to it in which case I would say thank
00:27:16 - you for your honesty."
00:27:19 - This is a very important meeting because I don't have unimportant
00:27:22 - meetings. It is critical that we are all prepared that we are
00:27:25 - not wasting each other's time in the meeting so how we re-schedule
00:27:29 - this meeting for tomorrow afternoon. Will that give you enough
00:27:33 - time to be prepared?
00:27:35 - "Thank you, yes." Perfect,
00:27:38 - make sure you have an agenda, that people are prepared and if
00:27:42 - they are not prepared
00:27:44 - be prepared to reschedule the meeting, otherwise you spend half
00:27:48 - of your allotted meeting time educating bringing those unprepared
00:27:52 - participants up to speed wasting the time of the people sitting
00:27:57 - there twiddling their thumbs waiting for the people to get up
00:27:59 - to speed i.e. to be read the document, the preparation material
00:28:04 - and you wasted half your meeting time that you are expected to
00:28:08 - make decisions and get consensus on. So again, be strict. Agenda,
00:28:15 - appropriate attendees and prepared attendees and you will find
00:28:19 - your meetings are in much more effectively. And then in consideration
00:28:23 - for these attendees
00:28:25 - starting in on time,
00:28:28 - I wanted to start at 10. I am going to start at 10. If two people
00:28:32 - aren't here at 10 I am going to start at 10 and say are we okay
00:28:35 - proceeding without Tom and Harry or should we reschedule. I am
00:28:41 - not going to say well they are not here yet, let's give them
00:28:44 - 10 minutes or let's give them another 10 minutes. They are really
00:28:46 - critical. Again, I am wasting people's time. People have come
00:28:50 - to know that my meeting start on time and they are there on time.
00:28:56 - It is common courtesy and common courtesy says end on time. 10
00:29:01 - minutes before the meeting is scheduled to finish I will look
00:29:03 - at my watch and say, "Hmm, we only have 10 minutes left. I sense
00:29:08 - we have a lot more than 10 minutes worth of agenda items to discuss.
00:29:12 - I am sorry taking this. This has taken longer than expected.
00:29:16 - When should we reschedule for?" I am not even going to say,
00:29:19 - "Can we extend?" I know people's calendars are busy. I know their
00:29:23 - schedules are busy.
00:29:25 - I am not asking them to bump other meetings in deference to mine.
00:29:29 - I am saying when can we reschedule for? And often the participants
00:29:33 - will say, "Why don't we just continue?" but I am giving them
00:29:36 - that option. I am giving the participants the option of telling
00:29:39 - me to continue. I am not asking them to change their calendars.
00:29:43 - I am empowering them to make the appropriate decisions to be
00:29:47 - part of in the effective meeting that I worked hard to prepare
00:29:52 - for. And I am going to document minutes, I am going to document
00:29:57 - the follow ups, I am going to document and distribute the action
00:30:00 - items to insure that everybody understands what the results of
00:30:03 - the meeting were and then everybody understands what their follow
00:30:06 - up and the expectations on them as a result of the meeting itself.
00:30:11 - If you follow this guideline section says. I am not saying my
00:30:15 - guidelines are perfect, but I find they work very effectively
00:30:18 - for me, but if you follow guidelines like this you will find
00:30:21 - that meetings will run more efficiently and effectively and you
00:30:25 - will find that people begin to- I am not saying they are excited
00:30:29 - about coming to my meetings, but they realize that I am only
00:30:32 - inviting them to my meetings if necessary and they understand
00:30:35 - that they will be contributing and there will be value from the
00:30:38 - meeting. And to conclude this nugget, we are going to very,
00:30:43 - very quickly talk about distributed project management in today's
00:30:47 - world, in today's business environment distributed project management
00:30:51 - is becoming more and more common. Gone are the days when the
00:30:57 - entire project team was co-located on one floor of your office
00:31:02 - building. Teams are now distributed across floors, across buildings
00:31:07 - around the city and around the world.
00:31:11 - Being effective project manager in a distributed team requires
00:31:18 - work, requires
00:31:25 - commitment, but it can work. I have worked with distributed
00:31:34 - teams pretty well around the world. I have dealt with teams in
00:31:37 - the Far East. I have dealt with teams in India. I certainly dealt
00:31:41 - with a lot of teams in Europe and I have certainly dealt with
00:31:45 - teams throughout North America. I am just trying to think if
00:31:48 - I have ever had one team that covered all of those geographies
00:31:52 - concurrently and I don't believe, but I have certainly dealt
00:31:55 - with teams out of an at least three of those geographies at any
00:31:59 - one given time. You can make it work. It absolutely requires
00:32:04 - work and it requires commitment, not just for me, the project
00:32:07 - manager to make it work but it requires commitment from the entire
00:32:11 - team to make it work and we could have an entire nugget on the
00:32:16 - issues around distributed project management. I am not going
00:32:20 - to go there. We need to be aware of the common sense items. Distributed
00:32:25 - project management needs means we need to work around time zones.
00:32:29 - Not everybody is in the same time zone as me. Meetings need
00:32:32 - to be scheduled appropriately so that we are not intruding
00:32:37 - into people in other geography's personal time. We are not asking
00:32:41 - them to get up at 6 in the morning to attend meetings. We are
00:32:44 - not asking them to be available at 9 p.m. to attend meetings.
00:32:48 - Sometimes you can't avoid that. If you are dealing with a team
00:32:52 - in the Far East, they literally are 12 hours away from us. There
00:32:56 - is no overlap of a business day so you need to have a consideration
00:33:01 - for that and say okay. This week the project meeting will be
00:33:06 - scheduled to suite the team members in the far east business
00:33:09 - hours and we people in North America will stay up late or get
00:33:14 - up early next week it is different, next week the time zone will
00:33:19 - be based on North American business hours and my team members
00:33:22 - in the Far East will be expected to contribute
00:33:27 - evening or morning time to make it work, but be fair. Different
00:33:32 - cultures, different countries have very different communications
00:33:34 - preference. North America is a fairly informal business environment
00:33:39 - as you move in to sections of Europe. It becomes somewhat more
00:33:42 - formal than North America and again as you move into the Far
00:33:46 - East it will become far more formal. People that I will call
00:33:50 - by the first name or nicknames or silly names in North America
00:33:55 - would probably be offended if I use that same communication style
00:33:59 - for people in the Far East. Understand
00:34:02 - the norms of your team as they are distributed around the country.
00:34:07 - They will be functional barriers, there will be hierarchical
00:34:10 - barriers. Again, the norms in the cultural differences, there
00:34:13 - will be language barriers. There may be technology barriers.
00:34:17 - Some of them places where your project team is located may not
00:34:21 - have the same "guaranteed 24x7
00:34:25 - availability of electricity and 24x7 availability of the internet." I
00:34:30 - spent a very short time in Indiana and Africa and even in the
00:34:36 - hotel where I was staying which would be you know a four star
00:34:39 - hotel. It was not uncommon to have power failures. As a matter
00:34:44 - of fact it was so common for power failures that the hotel had
00:34:47 - backed up generators that would kick in after about 5 minutes,
00:34:51 - but again, there were technology barriers for working effectively
00:34:54 - from Ghana because I had to expect that they would be periods
00:34:58 - of time where calls would be dropped as a result of blackouts
00:35:02 - or network conferences, video conferences would be dropped because
00:35:08 - internet outages and so on and so on. I think this is all best
00:35:12 - summed up with this final bullet of cultural differences. If
00:35:17 - I can get my screen to come back here, sorry about that, best
00:35:21 - summed up with the concept there are cultural differences as
00:35:24 - we are working on distributed project management. We can make
00:35:28 - it work. It can work. We just have to be committed to working
00:35:32 - in a distributed project environment. This
00:35:36 - nugget was focused on project communication management. Basically
00:35:39 - execute the com plan
00:35:45 - developed in planning. To do that we have to gather the information,
00:35:50 - gather the facts
00:35:53 - analyze the facts
00:35:56 - and then we need to distribute the facts,
00:36:01 - distribute the weekly status report, distribute the monthly status
00:36:04 - report based on everything discussed in the communications management
00:36:09 - plan and we closed out our discussion on project communications
00:36:13 - on effective strategies for meetings.
00:36:16 - Meetings if well run can be very productive and very beneficial
00:36:21 - to your project, but like everything else in effective project
00:36:25 - management we need to work hard to insure meetings running effectively
00:36:29 - on our project. And finally, we talked about distributed project
00:36:33 - management and talk about having to work hard as a project manager
00:36:37 - to make things work,
00:36:39 - managing a distributed project where your team members are scattered
00:36:43 - around the city, around the country, around the world requires
00:36:47 - a lot of extra effort on behalf of the entire project team, but
00:36:51 - specifically the project manager to insure that the distributed
00:36:55 - team feel part of a cohesive team and that all of the geographical,
00:37:01 - the time zone, the cultural barriers, the functional barriers,
00:37:05 - the technology barriers that are in place that are different
00:37:09 - from project site to project site are addressed and that we as
00:37:14 - project managers work to make that distributed team effective. This
00:37:20 - concludes your nugget on project communications. I hope this
00:37:23 - module has been informative for you and thank you very much for viewing.

Project Closure

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Steve Caseley

Steve Caseley

CBT Nuggets Trainer


Area Of Expertise:
Project Management, MS Project, Development Methodologies, Agile Development

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