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SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 1 Sharing Project Communication Loren Karl Schwappach PM 610: Project Planning, Execution, and Closure Colorado Technical University
SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 2 AbstractThis paper discusses how project status, issue, and accomplishment information gets shared. Itdiscusses the types of information that are shared through documents, and how e-mail affects theefficiency and effectiveness of project communications.
SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 3 Sharing Project Communication Communication is of importance in most functions, however, in project communicationshave a life of their own and may be of the most importance. Being an excellent and activecommunicator is of critical importance for all project managers and project team members andrequires that the project manager develops his/her interpersonal, informational, and decisionalhats (Kerzner, 2003). The PMs interpersonal hat requires that the PM be honest, capable,dependable, personable and effective. The PM is responsible for dealing successfully with peoplefrom different backgrounds, origins, and experiences, developing an open environment of unity,resolving disagreements, focusing members towards milestones and mission accomplishment,motivating project members toward goal fulfillment, and constructing positive, productiverelationships with stakeholders and the team members. Project managers have several toolsavailable for sharing information. Some of the information shared through these tools includeproject status updates, problem sharing, technical idea sharing (such as code, and architecturalideas), financial/budget data and concerns, project schedules, resourceacquisitions/losses/modifications, QA results, meeting notes, etc. There are also many toolsavailable for sharing this information.Face to Face (FTF) Communication FTF communication is one of the most powerful, effective, productive, and informativecommunication tools and can also be the most widely avoided by communication weak projectteams. FTF communication has particular strength especially in large project group settings (likeweekly team meetings) where team members with different project perspectives learn to see thebigger project picture. The communication plan should outline times of required FTFcommunications but these requirements are minimum standards. Proactive project managers and
SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 4project management teams should utilize face to face communications as frequently as necessaryto ensure communications are being actively shared throughout the team and to essential projectstakeholders.Project E-mail Another useful communication tool brought by the information age is email. Althoughoften over used as a poor replacement for FTF communication e-mail provides an avenue for therapid sharing of project activities to include project accomplishments, risks, and problems beingencountered. Email can be a useful tool for increasing efficiency and effectiveness ofcommunications due to its structure and ability for quick expression of ideas. However it shouldnot be a replacement for FTF communications.Intranet/Internet The intranet/internet provides a useful avenue for project communications. Discussionboards are a good example where customers and colleagues (such as students, gamers, andindividuals working in common areas) can share ideas from around the world in a freeunregulated format. Today large corporations use the internet for engaging in customer servicefunctions, gauging product support, and many other functions. I gained particular appreciationfor internet sharing of project documentation while working on a bachelor’s degree engineeringcapstone project with several group members. During the capstone class our project teambecame frequently reliant upon a internet application known as Dropbox. Dropbox allowed away for the entire team to share a large free 2GB storage folder on each of our home desktopcomputers that was continuously shared and updated via the internet. Dropbox wouldadditionally send an email and show within the Dropbox folder when a deliverable was open,who was working on it, and who/when it was last changed by. This was critical for ensuring
SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 5project members weren’t duplicating the work of other project members. Two of the largestdrawbacks to the internet are #1: security and #2: just like e-mail it is usually less effective thanFTF communication.Video Conferencing Video conferencing is a useful tool that allows a virtual method of FTF communicationfor members that cannot be present for FTF communication (due to local, activities, and otherreasons). A drawback to this tool is that the participants are in a virtual environment and opencommunication sharing is not often as present and utilized as in true FTF communication.Phone The phone is used less frequently in today’s ream of digitization. The phone is also auseful form of communication and has many of the benefits brought by FTF communication thatdoes not exist and is not accomplished via e-mail, internet and other digital means.how project status, issue, and accomplishment information gets sharedtypes of information shared.Social Networking This communication tool has broken many barriers due to its transparent nature andability to utilize large variances in group dynamics while allowing a method for like mindedindividuals to share ideas. In some aspects it has become an avenue for individuals to expressdaily thoughts, media and activities in an open forum with coworkers, family members, friends,companies, etc. It has reshaped the world of business and is much less rigid than e-mail.However this tool should never be used as a replacement for FTF communication and socialnetworking sites often share in the same security vulnerabilities as other digital tools.
SHARING PROJECT COMMUNICATION 6 ReferencesKerzner, H. (2003). Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (8th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Nielson. D. (2011). Project Communications: How to keep Your Team Engaged and Informed. Retrieved September, 19, 2011 from: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/project- communications-how-to-keep-your-team-engaged-and-informed.html