Project Mechanics

Communication

Communication is a significant portion of a project managers duties. Communications should support the effective creation, transfer, and retention of critical information related to the project. 

Levels of Communication

  • High-level communications - This type of communication allows a breadth of information to be reviewed at a surface level. This communication often is the catalyst for identifying items that need to be tactically discussed. This communication is usually between the project management and the project sponsors.   Make sure that the information neeed for critial decisions is presented, but avoid over communicating.  This type of communication is often preformed via a presentation at a meeting of an executive team.
  • Tactical communications - This type of communication allows a detailed discussion to occur typically about a specified topic. This communication is usually between the project manager and the primary project sponsor. This type of communication can be informal and performed using phone, email, fax, and face-to-face meetings. 
  • Formal Communications - The interaction of personnel through regular briefing sessions is an effective way to ensure constructive knowledge transfer. The goal of this formal communication is to document the state of the project. Formal communication documents should not be used to deliver new information about a project. New information about the project is best delivered via tactical communications between the project manager and the primary project sponsor.


Formal Communication by the project manager for the sponsors will include the following:

High-level Project Communication is usually targeted towards the project steering committee in the form of weekly status meetings, reports, and presentations.

  • Project Identification
  • Project Leadership
  • Project Budget Status
  • Project Timeline Status
  • Critical Project Action Items

Detailed Project Communication

Delivered to the team and project sponsor in the form of daily tactical communications.  These are then formalized into a weekly status report document for the project archives.

  • Project Status
  • Project Budget Status
  • Project Timeline Status
  • Project Action Items

About the Author 
Mark Hazleton has been active in Information Services delivery for over 20 years.

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