Pm in noisy envronments

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Pm in noisy envronments

  1. 1. Project Management in Noisy Environments Alex Dominguez jadoming@mail.unitec.mx Universidad Tecnológica de México Conference at POMS, Boston, May 2006
  2. 2. 2 Projects and reactions A project is an endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result A project tends to breakdown an established set of rules of how work has been executed in past A project generates among parties •Commentaries •Opinions •Rumors •Gossips These expressions interfere in the transmission and understanding of messages
  3. 3. 3 Project manager communication model (Max Wideman www.maxwideman.com) Project Manager Clients and sponsors provide direction and financial support Project team and providers require leading, planning and coordination Managers, other project managers, and personnel require coordination and support in negotiations Top managers provide organizational support and stimulus Informal communication Formal communication Direction and clarification Progress reports Progress and prevision reports Project guidelines Organization policies Status and prevision reports Project direction Status reports
  4. 4. 4 Noise in Project Management  Noise is produced  As a result of parties expressions  When certain parties do not receive the corresponding project messages they expect from other parties  When messages received do not correspond to project facts  NOISE compromises the original meaning of messages Encode Decode Encode Decode Message Feedback - Message Medium Noise Noise Sender Receiver
  5. 5. 5 Some literature 1. Brenner, R (2002). Responding to Rumors. www.chacocanyon.com/pointlookout/020424.shtml 2. Brenner, R (2003). There is no Rumor Mill. www.chacocanyon.com/pointlookout/030326.shtml 3. Burgess, H. and M. Maiese. Rumor Control. www.beyondintractability.org/m/rumor_control.jsp 4. Clements, J. and C. Drake. Dealing with Rumors. www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/stepicom/sld-1681.html. 5. Daniel, M. Rumor Management Strategy. http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/mgm/danielm/Rumor%20Management%2 0Strategy.htm. 6. DiFonzo, N. and P. Bordia. How Top PR Professionals Handle Hot Air: Types of Corporate Rumors, Their Effects, and Strategies to Manage Them: A study to the Institute for Public Relations. www.instituteforpr.com/pdf/1999_rumor-study.pdf 7. PD Webapge. Rumors/Urban Legends. http://home.att.net/~eccentricstar/cs_rumors.html 8. Yang, S. The Human Communication Process. www.wam.umd.edu/~suyang/Ch%201_Spring05.ppt
  6. 6. 6 Noise effects in project progress trend threshold Time Project progress (a) Temporary disruption Project progress Time (b) Change of rate or direction Time Project progress (c) Displacement Time Project progress (d) Disruption threshold threshold threshold threshold Time Project progress (a) Temporary disruption Time Project progress (a) Temporary disruption Project progress Time (b) Change of rate or direction Time Project progress (c) Displacement Time Project progress (d) Disruption threshold threshold threshold
  7. 7. 7 Bandwagon effect produced by noise  About bandwagon effect  People often do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same  It does not represent the way parties behave individually, but as a group having a random behavior  Consequences on noise  It becomes stronger and more difficult to stop over time  It is random and persistent obscuring or reducing the message's clarity Time Project progress threshold overshoots planned trend noise Time Project progress threshold overshoots planned trend noise
  8. 8. 8 Noise categorization according to noise sources Type of Noise Source Environmental noise Outside interference that prevents project manager from gaining project messages Physiological- impairment noise Interference caused by parties’ physical problems that can block his/her effective sending or receiving of project messages Syntactical noise Interference caused by parties’ incorrect use of communication language rules (e.g., grammar) Psychological noise Interference produced by parties’ stress, frustration, irritation, etc. Intellectual noise Interference caused by parties’ great amount of opinions and points of view about project messages Cultural noise (influence) Interference produced by parties’ preconceived, unyielding attitudes due to cultural group belonging. Being “closed-minded” Organizational noise (confusion) Interference caused by the way messages are arranged in order Semantic noise Interference caused by words meaning, such as project management or project technical jargon, dialect, etc.
  9. 9. 9 Noise categorization according to rumor intentions Type of Noise Intension Intentional noise It is generated to achieve a purpose Premature noise It is an early version of what will eventually become the truth Malicious noise It is generated to damage project manager, some stakeholders, or to tend relations among them Outrageous noise It is composed of stories so unbelievable that most parties think they cannot have been made up Nearly true noise It is built around a kernel of truth “Birthday” noise It comes around as regularly as birthdays
  10. 10. 10 Project manager attention to noise over time Project time Project manager attention to noise High Low Project time Project manager attention to noise High Low
  11. 11. 11 What to do: Preventive actions Anticipate noise Keep stakeholders informed Set up a “hotline” communication channel Anticipate parties’ anxiety Strive to increase and maintain trust and credibility Tailor each communication Be judicious about communication openness Fill voids by complementing and repeating information given Monitor possible effects of noise with respect to external events, stakeholder attitudes, and parties´ behavior
  12. 12. 12 What to do: Corrective actions – Questions to be answered What type of noise is this? Is this any truth to it? Does it point to a problem I need to fix? Is the issue important to stakeholders? Which ones? Why? Are stakeholders paying attention to noise? What is their response to it? Do they want to hear something from me about it? Can I provide information that might dispel noise? Do I need to be more open with information in general? What is the underlying concern or anxiety expressed by noise? Can I do anything constructive to address it? What is the state of my relationship with parties influenced by noise? Could/should I do anything to improve that relationship? Are there credible third parties who might help dispel noise?
  13. 13. 13 What to do: Corrective actions
  14. 14. 14 Challenges  Expect to encounter harmful noise during all of the project management phases  Take into account that noise often starts from the very first conception of project  Be alert to the possible negative effects of noise within  Consequences to project and project management  Stakeholder attitudes  Third party behaviors  Formulate a plan to prevent and correct noise  Inhibit noise activity and its associated effects by  Reducing and/or placing bounds upon uncertainty  Reducing belief in noise through effective formal communications
  15. 15. 15 Constraints  Resources for rapid response to noise are rarely budgeted  This is always certain if project is managed with limit resources  Stakeholders and sponsors pay insufficient attention to communication versus attention to “technical priorities”  Rapid respond to noise is not always possible if project is decentralized
  16. 16. 16 Questions and some answers

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