In this series we break down the basics of Project Management, incrementally. The first pillar in our series is on communication and how the intricacies of project management are based in communication.
Before we dive into the best practices of project management and the services netlogx offers, we need to define some terms:
- Project: A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result
- Program: A group of related projects, subsidiary programs, and program activities that are managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually
- Portfolio: A collection of projects, programs, subsidiary portfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives
No matter the project, program, or portfolio, effective communication is essential. A strong communication management plan is a critical element of project success. Poor communication management within a project can quickly lead to a misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities, creating confusion and delays. This disconnect will cause the work of different stakeholder groups to become siloed and unable to blend harmoniously.
Strong communication skills underline everything we do at netlogx, and project management is no exception. Many of our netlogx consultants are Project Management Professionals (PMPs) certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI); thus, netlogx is no stranger to the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK Guide) and the communication guidelines outlined in this methodology.
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. Some best practices for project communication are:
- 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.
- Be proactive: Another vital 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 to 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 understand 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.
Continue to learn the basics and the formative pillars of project management with our blog series. Or contact a netlogx professional here to learn more.