Intersection of Project Management and Communications

 

One of the things we’ve come to appreciate is the role of our stakeholders and sponsors in the project. Making sure that everyone’s on the same page about the outcomes we are seeking, the timeliness of those outcomes, and how it’s going to impact the organization means that delivering the project itself isn’t enough. Getting everybody to the shared outcome is ultimately the goal we need to help realize. 

All of our engagements start with one leader who has some ambitious goal or has been given some significant task to deliver. What we work with them to do is to better define effective projects that clarify the works that has to take place and where we’re headed. Good project management involves clarity of scope and the work to be done, roles and responsibilities, delineating good lines of accountability, and then also providing clarity around the schedule and the timing of the work and what the constraints are both economically from a budget caring perspective, but also for the time. 

Communications take place once we have identified a clear set of stakeholders that have an interest in the project -- often referred to as WIIFM, “What’s In It For Them (Me)?” when we talk about project benefits or the future state organization. Our role as project teams and communicators is delivering efficient and effective training at the right time, and making sure our communications and messages are absolutely clear. 

 
 
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Good projects deliver the organization to a higher state of being and operating at a higher, more effective level than it did in the past. What we try to do is reduce the trough, reduce the pain that takes place when projects take off by raising awareness amongst all stakeholders and not just the core project team. Also, to change expectations, we introduce both training and reinforcements. By making those things clearer earlier, we can accelerate the time to value in a project cycle.

We understand that one client is just part of a large organization. Often our sponsors find themselves in that middle ground of balancing expectations from the top and trying to coordinate teams to get them where they need to go. Often those team members  report directly to them, and that’s where this role of influence becomes markedly more important. 

When we think about how influence --both up and down the organization-- from the front line staff to board of directors-- can take a variety of forms,  communicating effectively means the way we interact and set expectations in person, in writing, visually in our communications, and even in the way we capture the imagination through video.


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