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PMP Exam Prep - Communications Management

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This is a presentation I gave at Walsh College to help project managers prepare for the PMP certification exam. It is based on PMBoK 3rd Version.

This is a presentation I gave at Walsh College to help project managers prepare for the PMP certification exam. It is based on PMBoK 3rd Version.

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  • 1. PMP EXAM WORKSHOP – WINTER 2008 Communications Management Timothy J. Krikau, MBA, PMP
  • 2. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT The PMBOK defines Project Communication Management as… “The Knowledge Area that employs the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and ultimate disposition of project information.”
  • 3. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT SCARY FACT!!! 70% of all failed projects are due to ineffective communication!!!
  • 4. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.1 – Communications Planning 10.2 – Information Distribution 10.3 – Performance Reporting 10.4 – Manage Stakeholders
  • 5. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.1 Communication Planning Project 10.4 Manage 10.2 Information Communication Stakeholders Distribution Management 10.3 Performance Reporting
  • 6. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT The art of communications is a broad subject and involves a substantial body of knowledge including: 1. Sender-Receiver Models: Feedback Loops and Barriers to Communication. 2. Choice of Media: Written vs. Oral, Informal vs. Formal, Face- to-face vs. E-mail/Voicemail. 3. Writing Style: Active vs. Passive, Sentence Structure, and Choice of Words 4. Presentation Techniques: Body language and Visual aids. 5. Meeting Management Techniques: Preparing an agenda and dealing with conflict.
  • 7. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Model Noise Feedback - Message Decode Encode Sender Medium?? Receiver Encode Message Decode Noise
  • 8. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Model Definitions Encode: To translate thoughts or ideas into a language that is understood by others. Message: The output of encoding. Medium: The method used to convey the message. Noise: Anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of the message. Decode: To translate the message back into meaningful thoughts or ideas.
  • 9. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.1 Communication Planning This process determines the information and communications needs of the stakeholders. Who needs what information? When will they need it? By whom?
  • 10. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10. 1 Communications Planning Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs 1. Enterprise 1. Communications 1. Communications Environmental Factors Requirements Management Plan Analysis 2. Organizational Process Assets 2. Communications Technology 3. Project Scope Statement 4. Project Management Plan • Constraints • Assumptions
  • 11. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis The analysis of the communications requirements in the sums of the information needs of the stakeholders. Requirements are defined by combining the type and format of information needed with analysis of the value of the information. Project resources are expended only on communicating information that contributes to success, or where a lack of communication can lead to failure.
  • 12. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis This does not mean that “bad news” should not be shared… The intent is prevent overwhelming stakeholders with minutiae.
  • 13. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis The project manager should consider the number of potential communication channels or paths as an indicator of the complexity of a project’s communications. n(n-1)/2
  • 14. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis “You have a team of four people, how many communication channels are there?”
  • 15. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis “You have a team of four people, how many communication channels are there?” The answer is six Or… 4(4-1)/2 = 6
  • 16. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis “What if you add one more? How many more channels would you have? The answer is 10, right? WRONG!!!!
  • 17. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis “What if you add one more? How many more channels would you have?
  • 18. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis “What if you add one more? How many more channels would you have? The answer would be four. Remember to read the exams questions carefully!
  • 19. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communications Requirements Analysis A key component of planning the projects communications is to determine and limit who will communicate with whom and who will receive what information.
  • 20. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Information typically required to determine project communication requirements are: 1. Organization charts 2. Project organization and stakeholder responsibility relationships 3. Disciplines, departments, and specialties involved in the project 4. Logistics of how many persons will be involved with the project and at which locations 5. Internal information needs (within an organization) 6. External information needs (with contractors, media, etc.) 7. Stakeholder information
  • 21. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Effective Communication Messages should be encoded carefully, determine what the best communication method is to send, and to confirm that the message is understood.
  • 22. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Effective Communication 1. Nonverbal: About 55% of all communications are nonverbal (based on physical mannerisms) 2. Paralingual: Pitch and tone of voice also helps (and hinders) the conveyance of a message 3. Feedback: “Do you understand what I’ve explained?”
  • 23. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Effective Listening The receiver should decode the message carefully and confirm that the message is understood.
  • 24. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Effective Listening 1. Feedback: “I understand.” or “I’m sure I understand, can you repeat what you just said?” 2. Active Listening: The receiver confirms that he/she is listening, confirms agreement, or asks for clarification. 3. Paralingual
  • 25. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Technology The methodologies used to transfer information among project stakeholders can vary significantly.
  • 26. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Technology Technological factors that can affect a project include: 1. The urgency of the need for information (immediate or in intervals?) 2. The availability of technology (systems in place or is a change needed?) 3. The expected project staffing (system compatible with participants or is training required?) 4. The length of the project (will the current technology change before the project closes?) 5. The project environment (is the team co-located or virtual?)
  • 27. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communication Technology Methods 1. Formal Written: Used for complex problems, PM plans, project charter, long distance communications 2. Formal Verbal: Presentations, speeches 3. Informal Written: Memos, e-mail, notes 4. Informal Verbal: Meetings, conversations
  • 28. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Technology Can a project manager control all communications? No. Should the project manager try to control all communications? Yes. How much of a PM’s time is spent communicating? 90%
  • 29. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Management Plan The inputs and tools and techniques in this process will yield the Communications Management Plan
  • 30. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Communications Management Plan The communications management plan is contained, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan. The communications management plan provides: 1. Stakeholder communication requirements 2. Information to be communicated, including format, content, and level of detail 3. Person responsible for communicating all information 4. Person/groups who will receive the information 5. Methods/technologies used to convey the information (memos, email, etc.) 6. Frequency of communication 7. Escalation process-identifying time frames and the management chain (names) for escalation of issues that can’t be resolved at a lower staff level. 8. Method for updating and refining the communications management plan as the project develops. 9. Glossary of common terminology
  • 31. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10. 2 Information Distribution This process involves making information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner. Distribution of the communications management plan. Responding to unexpected requests for information
  • 32. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Information Distribution Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs 1. Communication 1. Communications 1. Organizational Management Plan Skills Process Assets (Updates) 2. Information Gathering and 2. Requested Changes Retrieval Systems 3. Information Distribution Methods 4. Lessons Learned Process
  • 33. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communication Skills Communication skills are part of general management skills and are used to exchange information.
  • 34. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Communication Skills Communicating has many dimensions: 1. Written and oral, listening, and speaking 2. Internal (within the project) and external (customer, media, public) 3. Formal (reports, briefings) and informal (memos, ad hoc conversations) 4. Vertical (up and down the organization) and horizontal (peer)
  • 35. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Information Gathering and Retrieval Systems Information can gathered and retrieved through a variety of media including: 1. Manual filing systems 2. Electronic databases 3. PM software 4. Systems that allow access to technical documentation (blueprints, design specs, etc.)
  • 36. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Information Distribution Methods These methods involve information collection, sharing, and distribution to project stakeholders in a timely manner across the project life cycle. 1. Project meetings, hard-copy document distribution, manual filing systems, and shared-access electronic databases. 2. Electronic communication and conferencing tools, such as e-mail, fax, voicemail, telephone, video and Web conferencing, and Web publishing. 3. Electronic tools for PM, such as Web interfaces to scheduling and PM software, meeting and virtual office support software, portals, and collaborative work management tools.
  • 37. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Lessons Learned A lessons learned session focuses on identifying project successes and project failures, and includes recommendations to improve future performance on projects. Lessons learned provide future project teams with the information that can increase effectiveness and efficiency of project management. Lessons learned are so valuable that a project cannot be considered complete unless the lessons learned are completed. Continuous Improvement cannot exist without lessons learned
  • 38. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Lessons Learned Don’t wait until the project is over to share lessons learned with other projects!
  • 39. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques Lessons Learned Specific results from lessons learned include: Update of the lessons learned knowledge base Input to knowledge management system Updated corporate policies, procedures, and processes Improved business skills Overall product and service improvements Updates to the risk management plan
  • 40. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Lessons Learned Question… Lessons learned are BEST completed by: a. Project manager b. Team c. Sponsor d. Stakeholders
  • 41. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Lessons Learned The best answer is STAKEHOLDERS as their input is critical for collecting all the lessons learned on each project.
  • 42. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Information Distribution Outputs Organizational Process Assets (updates) Project records Project reports Lessons learned documentation Project presentations Feedback from stakeholders Stakeholder notifications
  • 43. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Information Distribution Outputs Requested Changes: Changes to the Information Distribution process should trigger changes to the PM plan and thecommunications management plan.
  • 44. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.3 Performance Reporting The performance reporting process involves the collection of all baseline data, and distribution of performance information to stakeholders. Generally, this performance information includes how resources are being used to achieve project objectives and should include information on scope, schedule, cost, and quality.
  • 45. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.3 Performance Reporting Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs 1. Work performance 1. Information presentation 1. Performance reports information tools 2. Forecasts 2. Performance measurements 2. Performance information 3. Requested changes gathering and compilation 3. Forecasted completion 4. Recommended corrective 3. Status review meetings 4. Quality control measurements actions 4. Time reporting systems 5. PM plan 5. Organizational process 5. Cost reporting systems assets • Performance measurement baseline. 6. Approved change requests. 7. Deliverables
  • 46. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.3 Performance Reporting Status reports: Describe where project now stands in terms of cost, time, and scope, and quality. Progress reports: Describe what has been accomplished. Gantt Charts in MS Project Trend reports: Examine project results over time to see if performance is improving or deteriorating. Forecasting reports: Predict future project status and performance Variance reports: Compare actual results to baselines Earned value: Integrates scope, cost and schedule measures to assess project performance (see the Cost Management process in the PMBOK) Lessons learned
  • 47. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Inputs Work Performance Information Work performance information on the completion status of the deliverables and what has been accomplished is collected as part of project execution, and is fed into the Performance Reporting process.
  • 48. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques PM Plan: Performance Measurement Baseline. An approved plan for the project work against which project execution is compared, and deviations are measured for management control. The performance measurement baseline typically integrates scope, schedule, and cost parameters of the project, but may include technical and quality parameters.
  • 49. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Tools and Techniques 1. Information Presentation Tools: Software packages that include table reporting, spreadsheet analysis, presentations, etc. (MS Office) 2. Performance Information Gathering and Compilation: Information can be gathered and compiled from a variety of media including manual filing systems, electronic databases, PM software, and systems that allow technical documentation 3. Status Review Meetings: Regularly scheduled events to exchange information about the project. Frequency and levels can vary with these. 4. Time Reporting Systems: Record and provide time expended on the project. 5. Cost Reporting Systems: Record and provide cost expended on the project.
  • 50. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Outputs 1. Performance Reports: Organize and summarize the information gathered, and present the results of any analysis as compared to the performance measurement baseline. 2. Forecasts: Forecasts are updated and reissued based on work performance information provided as the project is executed. 3. Requested Changes: Analysis of project performance often generates requested changes. 4. Recommended Corrective Actions 5. Organizational Process Assets
  • 51. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Outputs When completed, performance reporting should result in: The issuing of reports from other knowledge areas Feedback from those who received the reports Lessons learned Requested changes to both the project and communications management plan Reports, forecasts, requested changes and corrective actions and lessons learned documentation
  • 52. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.4 Manage Stakeholders 1. Stakeholder management refers to managing communications to satisfy the needs of, and resolve issues with, project stakeholders. 2. Actively managing stakeholders: 1. Increases the likelihood that the project will not veer off track due to unresolved stakeholder issues. 2. Enhances the ability of persons to operate synergistically 3. Limits disruptions during the project
  • 53. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.4 Manage Stakeholders Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs 1. Communications 1. Communications methods 1. Resolved issues management plan 2. Issue logs 2. Approved change 2. Organizational process assets requests 3. Approved corrective actions 4. Organizational process assets (updated) 5. Project Management plan (updated)
  • 54. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.4 Manage Stakeholders Tools and Techniques 1. Communication Methods 1. Face-to-face meetings are the most effective means for communicating and resolving issues with stakeholders. 2. If face-to-face meetings aren’t possible or practical (international projects), telephone calls, e-mail, and other electronic tools are useful for exchanging information and dialoguing.
  • 55. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.4 Manage Stakeholders Tools and Techniques 1. Issue Logs 1. A tool that can be used to document and monitor the resolution of issues. 2. Discussed more in the Human Resource Management process.
  • 56. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT 10.4 Manage Stakeholders Outputs 1. Resolved Issues (placed in the issue log)
  • 57. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Other Stuff Communication Blockers 1. Use of slang, jargon, or phraseology that is indigenous to our culture can cause miscommunication with other cultures. “What’s your game plan?” “The nuts and bolts of the…” “Zero in on the problem” “Kill the weed”
  • 58. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Other Stuff Helpful websites in preparing for the PMP Exam PMPINABOX: www.pmpinabox.com PreparePM: www.preparepm.com PMPrepcast: www.pmprepcast.com
  • 59. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT Other Stuff tkrikau@yahoo.com
  • 60. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT

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