When does a set of complex tasks become a Mini Project?

Last week I had organised a workshop for the team. It was about Project management.

The whole thing came about because we have an inconsistent approach to PM in the wider team. That inconsistency makes hard work for all of us.

  • we cannot easily see who is working on what

You might say, a classic resource management issue. Actually it is not. The team leaders have a very good understanding what the workload of their guys is and what they can add or what has to wait. No, the issue is different. The people in the other teams don’t know that workload and as such their expectations to get things done is not matched by possible actions.

  • we cannot report on project progress consistently

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A Communication Plan

Communication is the key element to successful management and leadership. There is nothing else more important. Let me illustrate:

“I’m running a project that changes the e-mail infrastructure for our organisation.”

That little sentence is loaded with assumptions and uses a language that is convenient for me and not for my audience. Let’s look at it in some detail:

  • Who knows what “e-mail infrastructure” means? –> IT technical minded people, geeks and nerds. In other words I’m talking a language that the people understand who are doing the job.
  • I’m using e-mail, says the salesman, what does it mean for me?
  • When is it happening?
  • What is actually changing?

You can easily see that list of questions will grow quite quickly. And those questions are fantastic. You need them to create a good communication plan.

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