Most of our clients have many related projects going at the same time to further the goals of the whole organization. The projects may involve the same groups of stakeholders, subject matter experts, or resources. Learning how to communicate between each component is a necessity. Decisions made concerning one project can affect the others, so effective communication is the key for all the projects to find success.
Communicate early and often
As you identify items that may affect other projects, try to communicate in advance. Work to build good relationships with other project managers. You’ll find that you can resolve many things by working directly with them.
Another important aspect of project communication is setting aside time to proactively identify risks on the current project that may affect other projects in the organization. This will save you time and effort in the long run.
Identify high-level risks with others
Work with project managers and staff from other projects to identify high-level risks that might affect the larger objectives. This approach can bring insight into multiple touchpoints with other projects that you may not have realized.
Communicate the right things at the right time
For the interconnectedness of related projects to run smoothly, be aware of key deadlines for other projects and their “crunch times.” The related projects likely have different priorities than yours so you’ll need to be aware and have an understanding of any situations where you may need to negotiate.
Know when to escalate
You need to know when to escalate issues to the program manager. If you come up against conflicts that cannot be resolved, including handling resources or scheduling, reach out. A program manager should also direct strategic-level decisions and program-level changes.
Communication is key to the success of a program. Effective communication means being aware of other projects and taking them into consideration instead of working in isolation. Poor communication could mean the difference between project success and project failure.