Chapter 10: Project Communications Management Copyright Course Technology

Chapter 10: Project Communications Management Copyright Course Technology

Chapter 10: Project Communications Management Copyright Course Technology 2009 1 Importance of Good Communications The greatest threat to many projects is a failure to communicate Our culture does not portray IT professionals as being good communicators Research shows that IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively to succeed in their positions

Strong verbal skills are a key factor in career advancement for IT professionals Copyright Course Technology 1999 2 Project Communications Management Processes Communications planning: determining the information and communications needs of the stakeholders Information distribution: making needed information available in a timely manner Performance reporting: collecting and disseminating performance information Administrative closure: generating, gathering, and disseminating information to formalize phase or project completion

Copyright Course Technology 1999 3 Project Communications Management Processes 4th edition Identify Stakeholders Plan Communications Distribute Information Manage Stakeholder Expectations Report Performance Copyright Course Technology 2009 4 Plan Communications

Every project should include some type of communications management plan, a document that guides project communications Creating a stakeholder analysis for project communications also aids in communications planning Copyright Course Technology 2009 5 Communications Management Plan Contents A description of a collection and filing structure for gathering and storing various types of information

A distribution structure describing what information goes to whom, when, and how A format for communicating key project information Copyright Course Technology 2009 6 Communications Management Plan Contents, continued A project schedule for producing the information Access methods for obtaining the information A method for updating the communications management plans as the project progresses and develops

A stakeholder communications analysis Copyright Course Technology 2009 7 Table 10-1. Sample Stake holder Analysis for Project Communications Stakeholders Document Name Document Format Contact Person Due Customer Management

Monthly Status Report Hard copy Gail Feldman, Tony Silva First of month Customer Business Staff Monthly Status Report Hard copy

Julie Grant, First of month Customer Technical Staff Monthly Status Report E-mail Internal Management Monthly Status Report

Hard copy Bob Thomson First of month Internal Business and Technical Staff Monthly Status Report Intranet Angie Liu

First of month Training Subcontractor Training Plan Hard Copy Jonathan Kraus 11/1/1999 Software Subcontractor Software E-mail

Barbara Gates Implementation Copyright Course Technology 1999 Plan Jeff Martin Evan Dodge, First of month Nancy Michaels 6/1/2000 8 Distribute Information Getting the right information to the right people at the right time and in

a useful format is just as important as developing the information in the first place Important considerations include using technology to enhance information distribution formal and informal methods for Course Technology 1999 distributingCopyright information 9 What Went Wrong? A well publicized example of misuse of e-mail comes from the 1998 Justice Department's high profile, antitrust suit against Microsoft. E-mail emerged as a

star witness in the case. Many executives sent messages that should never have been put in writing. The court used e-mail as evidence, even though the senders of the notes said the information was being interpreted out of context. Some companies, such as, have established policies to encourage employees to watch their use of e-mail and delete it often. Their "Sweep and Clean" program instructed employees to purge e-mails that were no longer required for business or legal purposes. They even offered free caf lattes to employees who complied immediately. Harmon, Amy, "E-mail comes back to haunt companies," 29, 1998 CopyrightNovember Course Technology 1999

10 Figure 10-1. The Impact of the Number of People on Communications Channels Copyright Course Technology 1999 11 Report Performance Performance reporting keeps stakeholders informed about how resources are being used to achieve project objectives Status reports describe where the project stands at a specific point in time Progress reports describe what the project team has accomplished during a certain period

of time Project forecasting predicts future project status and progress based on past information and trends Status review meetings often include performance reporting Copyright Course Technology 1999 12 Administrative Closure A project or phase of a project requires closure Administrative closure produces

project archives formal acceptance lessons learned Copyright Course Technology 1999 13 Suggestions for Improving Project Communications Resolve conflicts effectively Develop better communication skills Run effective meetings Use templates for project communications Copyright Course Technology 1999 14

Conflict Handling Modes, in Preference Order Confrontation or problem-solving: directly face a conflict Compromise: use a give-and-take approach Smoothing: de-emphasize areas of differences and emphasize areas of agreement Forcing: the win-lose approach Withdrawal: retreat or withdraw from an actual or potential disagreement Copyright Course Technology 1999 15 Table 10-3. Sample

Template for a Monthly Progress Report I. Accomplishments for Month of February (or appropriate month): Describe most important accomplishments. Relate to project's Gantt chart Describe other important accomplishments, one bullet for each. If any issues were resolved from the previous month, list them as accomplishments. II. Plans for March (or following month): Describe most important items to be accomplished in the next month. Again relate to the project's Gantt chart. Describe other important items to accomplish, one bullet for each III.

Issues: Briefly list important issues that surfaced or are still important. Managers hate surprises and want to help the project succeed, so be sure to list issues. IV. Project Changes (Date and Description): List any approved or requested changes to the project. Include the date of the change and a brief description. Copyright Course Technology 2009 16 Table 10-5. Sample Template for a Letter of Agreement for a Class Project I. Project Description: Describe the project's objective, scope, assumptions, cost information, and schedule information, as shown in Figure 9-2. Be sure to include

important dates that the project's sponsor needs to be aware of II. Organizational Goals and Expectations: Have the main sponsor from the organization briefly state their goals and expectations for the project. III. Student Goals and Expectations: Students on the project team should briefly state their goals and expectations for the project. IV. Meeting Information. It is a good idea for the project's sponsor and all students on the project team to agree on at least one hour per week where all parties can meet to work on this project. The meeting place should be a convenient location without distractions. Virtual meetings may be an option for some people and projects.

V. Contact Information and Communications Plan: List the sponsor's and students' names, phone numbers, e-mails, and important procedures for communications. It is a good idea to set up a web site for all project information. VI. Signatures: Have the main sponsor and students on the project team sign the Copyright Technology 1999 manager. This student letter of agreement. Designate whichCourse student is the project should be the main contact for all project information.

17 Figure 10-3. Gantt Chart Template for a Class Project Project 98 file Copyright Course Technology 1999 18 Table 10-6. Guidance for Students Lessons Learned Report Every two weeks or after a major event in your group project, write a brief journal entry describing what happened and how you felt about it. At the end of the term, write a 2-3

page paper describing your lessons learned based on your group project. Answer the following questions: What were your roles and responsibilities on the team? How were they decided? What did you like/dislike about the project? What did you learn about project management and yourself by doing the project? What did you learn about teamwork and yourself by doing the project? What would you have done differently? What will you remember to Copyright Courseon Technology 1999experience? 19 do on the next project you work after this

Developing a Communications Infrastructure A communications infrastructure is a set of tools, techniques, and principles that provide a foundation for the effective transfer of information Tools include e-mail, project management software, groupware, fax machines, telephones, teleconferencing systems, document management systems, and word processors Techniques include reporting guidelines and templates, meeting ground rules and procedures, decision-making processes, problem-solving approaches, and conflict resolution and negotiation techniques Principles include using open dialog and an agreed upon work ethic Copyright Course Technology 1999

20 Using Software to Assist in Project Communications There are many software tools to aid in project communications The What Went Right? example on pg. 264 describes several new web-based and wireless communications tools Microsoft Project includes several features to enhance communications 21 Figure 10-4. MS Project Information Saved as HTML File Project 98 file

Copyright Course Technology 1999 22 Chapter 12: Project Procurement Management Copyright Course Technology2011 23 Importance of Project Procurement Management Procurement means acquiring goods and/or services from an outside source Other terms include purchasing and

outsourcing By the year 2003 the worldwide information technology outsourcing market had grown to over $100 billion Copyright Course Technology 1999 24 Why Outsource? To reduce both fixed and recurrent costs To allow the client organization to focus on its core business To access skills and technologies To provide flexibility To increase accountability Copyright Course Technology 2009

25 Project Procurement Management Processes Plan Procurements: determining what to procure and when Conduct Procurements: documenting product requirements and identifying potential sources Copyright Course Technology 2009 26 Project Procurement Management Processes,

Continued Administer Procurements: managing the relationship with the vendor Close Procurements: completion and settlement of the contract Copyright Course Technology 2009 27 Figure 12-1. Project Procurement Management Processes (3rd Edition) and Key Outputs Copyright Course Technology 2009

28 Plan Procurements Procurement planning involves identifying which project needs can be best met by using products or services outside the organization. It includes deciding whether to procure how to procure what to procure how much to procure

when to procure 29 Collaborative Procurement Several organizations, even competitors, have found that it makes sense to collaborate on procurement for some projects Kodak Rental car companies Frito-Lay, and its competitors Copyright Course Technology 2009 30 Procurement Planning Tools and Techniques

Make-or-buy analysis: determining whether a particular product or service should be made or performed inside the organization or purchased from someone else. Often involves financial analysis Experts, both internal and external, can provide valuable inputs in procurement decisions Copyright Course Technology 2009 31 Types of Contracts Fixed price or lump sum: involve a fixed total price for a well-defined product or service Cost reimbursable: involve payment

to the seller for direct and indirect costs Unit price contracts: require the buyer to pay the seller a predetermined amount per unit of service Copyright Course Technology 2009 32 Cost Reimbursable Contracts Cost plus incentive fee (CPIF): the buyer pays the seller for allowable performance costs plus a predetermined fee and an incentive bonus Cost plus fixed fee (CPFF): the buyer

pays the seller for allowable performance costs plus a fixed fee payment usually based on a percentage of estimated costs Cost plus percentage of costs (CPPC): the buyer pays the seller for allowable performance costs plus a predetermined percentage based on total costs Copyright Course Technology 1999 33 Figure 12-2. Contract Types Versus Risk Copyright Course Technology 2009 34

Statement of Work (SOW) A statement of work is a description of the work required for the procurement Many contracts, or other mutually binding agreements, include SOWs A good SOW gives bidders a better understanding of the buyers expectations Copyright Course Technology 2009 35 A Common Contractual Relationship Time and Materials Contract Is essentially a cost reimbursement contract, but reimburses material

costs as well May be agreed to through transmittal of a letter Copyright Course Technology 2009 36 Solicitation Planning Solicitation planning involves preparing several documents: Request for Proposals: used to solicit proposals from prospective sellers where there are several ways to meet the buyers needs Requests for Quotes: used to solicit quotes for well-defined procurements Invitations for bid or negotiation, and initial contractor responses are also part of

solicitation planning Copyright Course Technology 2009 37 Figure 12-4. Outline for a Request for Proposal (RFP) I. Purpose of RFP II. Organizations Background III.

Basic Requirements IV. Hardware and Software Environment V. Description of RFP Process VI. Statement of Work and Schedule Information VII. Possible Appendices A. Current System Overview

B. System Requirements C. Volume and Size Data D. Required Contents of Vendors Response to RFP E. Sample Contract Copyright Course Technology 2009 38 Solicitation Solicitation involves obtaining proposals or bids from prospective sellers Organizations can advertise to procure goods and services in several ways approaching the preferred vendor approaching several potential vendors advertising to anyone interested A bidders conference can help clarify the

buyers expectations Copyright Course Technology 2009 39 Source Selection Source selection involves evaluating bidders proposals choosing the best one negotiating the contract awarding the contract It is helpful to prepare formal evaluation

procedures for selecting vendors Buyers often create a short list Copyright Course Technology 2009 40 Figure 12-5. Sample Proposal Evaluation Sheet Copyright Course Technology 2009 41 Figure 12-6. Detailed Criteria for Selecting Vendors Copyright Course Technology 2009

42 Administer Procurements Contract administration ensures that the sellers performance meets contractual requirements Contracts are legal relationships, so it is important that legal and contracting professionals be involved in writing and administering contracts Many project managers ignore contractual issues, which can result in serious problems (see What Went Wrong? on pg. 465) Copyright Course Technology 2009 43 Suggestions on Change Control for

Contracts Changes to any part of the project need to be reviewed, approved, and documented by the same people in the same way that the original plan was approved Evaluation of any change should include an impact analysis. How will the change affect the scope, time, cost, and quality of the goods or services being provided? Changes must be documented in writing. Project team members should also document all important meetings and telephone phone calls Copyright Course Technology 1999 44

Contract Close-out Contract close-out includes product verification to determine if all work was completed correctly and satisfactorily administrative activities to update records to reflect final results archiving information for future use Procurement audits identify lessons learned in the procurement process Copyright Course Technology 2009 45 Discussion Questions Discuss the scenario in the opening case. Have you experienced similar situations? How did the parties involved handle them?

Provide examples of information technology goods and services that were outsourced. Which were for information technology projects and which were parts of on-going operations? Was it advantageous for the organization to use outsourcing? Some experts recommend working with preferred vendors, even if their prices may be higher than other vendors. Why do you think this is the case? Copyright Course Technology 2009 46

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