Meetings can be an efficient means of communication but they can waste time if not conducted efficiently.
All meetings should have an agenda provided to the attendees before the meeting. One attendee should be nominated to maintain a record of topics discussed during the meeting, actions assigned, and any conclusions reached.
Conduct regular meetings to communicate information to the team, establish priorities, make decisions, and build morale. Periodic meetings are commonly held to resolve issues, review work products, determine work status, and consider changes to scope. The most common topic for periodic project meetings is the status of the work based on the project metrics.
A PMs job is to identify problems and fix them before they become insurmountable. Interpersonal conflicts, if left unchecked, will often negatively impact project performance. This includes your own conflicts with client or contractor personnel. Learn to deal with problems head-on. If you can’t effectively deal with a communications conflict, then go up a level on the organization to seek a resolution.
This table presents several useful communications vehicles and their application.
A Project Authority Matrix (see Table) is a useful management tool to document the role each stakeholder has in determining your project’s success. This example illustrates a simple matrix for a small subset of project stakeholders. This matrix should include everyone you will communicate with during the execution of the project and the topics you will communicate.
A monthly internal Job Status Report that feeds into a Corporate executive review should include the following information:
- Status Summary – indicating any significant impacts to the project
- Major Accomplishments – a list of the most important completed tasks, or a description of work done toward their completion
- Project Milestone Report – a high-level glance at the major project deliverables, with their intended and actual start and end dates
- Issues analysis and Issue Response – a running list of open and closed issues
- Change Request Analysis – a running diary of actions taken toward acceptance of change control
- Risk Analysis Report – any Risks that may be turning into a project issue and report on any situation that occurred that resulted in the Project Team being unable to perform work
- Financial Commentary
- Project Manager’s Comments and significant planned accomplishments for the following weeks
– Mike Lisagor