Archive for January, 2012


Communicating Effectively

 

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?

The tone of the email was not strong enough to engage or provide Mark with the urgency of getting his missing piece of the report to another team member in order for her to complete her part of the project on time. In addition, in the email stating, “Let me know as soon as possible when you think you can get your report sent over to me” should have been written with more power and conviction. For example, Mark, I need to get your report by Noon today. Your report is a crucial part of the project, and if I do not receive your part of the report today, it will cause delays in the project and could cause a problem for our client, as well.

The voicemail message sounded as if she is begging Mark to cooperate with her and not the entire project team. It might be that Mark does not care about her completing the project on time or understand the timeline due date to complete the project. Her message should have conveyed to Mark the urgency of the team not completing the project on time because of his missing report.

 

F2F sound and looked playful, no seriousness conveyed in the request. In order to get and gain Mark attention and trust, the video should have shown credibility in the facial expressions and tone of voice.

 

 

What factors influenced how you perceived the message?

I think the factors that influenced my perception of what the message implied is how everyone took for granted that Mark understood what the message was conveying. In each of the scenarios, there should have been clear and concise direction for Mark to follow.  As well as follow-up messages, asking if he understood the message and the urgency of his part of the report are to the overall successful completion of the project.  It implies how easy it is for communication breakdown to occur.

What did you learn that would help you communicate more effectively with others in the future?

According to Conger (as cited in Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008), successful project manager must be skillful at persuading others if they want to meet the demands of the project. One thing Conger talks about are the four skills of powerful persuasion: (1) effective persuaders must be credible to those they are trying to persuade; (2) they must find goals held in common with those being persuaded; (3) they must use “vivid” language and compelling evidence; (4) they must connect with the emotions of those they are trying to persuade. (18)

Informing senior management about any lack of cooperation from team members is critical in order to resolve the problem or the project impasse. If this is done in a timely, honest, and proactive manner, it will build trust between the members. (Portny et al., 2008)

 

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. r., Shafer, S. M., & Sutton, M. M., &Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Project “Post Mortem”

ABC Company Billing System Project Upgrade

    

     The ABC organization was in the process of upgrading their billing system to accommodate more features and allow more user-friendly component to be installed.  My role in the beginning of the project was bot the PM and trainer. The project was a success, but not without several hiccups.

     The project “Post Mortem” was depressing because management looked to me for all of the answers, which I did not have. It was impossible for me to be responsible for both jobs in that I was not able to prepare for training or not able to guide the team toward completion. Saying “No” was not an option because they felt that the IT person alone with me could do the job. However, the size of the project was factored in during the pre-planning stage because there was not a planning stages that I was aware of during that time. We were it!

     The deliverable timeline given to complete the project was within three months from the month of April to June. This also meant complete training for all end users.

First thing first:

  1. I begin by creating SMART objectives for all core parties.

  2. Begin to define the Project boundaries because there were limitations in my ability to do everything and be everything to everybody. There were also limitations to skills set for the successful completion of the project, mine including. My educational background was technical and customer service training, but this project called for IT, finance, HR., Field Operation, marketing, collection, audit, dispatch, and warehouse to be involved.

  3. Begin to convenience Upper Management to use a specific person to act as the PM, which would allow me the opportunity to work on the project as the instructional designer, as well as the trainer. 

     The most frustrating part of the project was not utilizing a PM during the pre-planning stage of the project. We would have save time, and would not have had to extend the project completion date to another month.

What contributed to the project’s success or failure?

     The project was a success because Upper Management decided to utilize a PM to guide the project from beginning through its closure.

Which parts of the PM process, if included, would have made the project more successful? Why?

     The PM was able to plan the project, which included organizing, controlling, scheduling, resources, meeting the project specifications, as well as factoring in uncertainties. The PM was also able to set clear objectives ensuring a feasible plan for how everyone would reach their goals. The PM held individual accountable for their part of the project, communicated with clients and management providing them with up-to-date information concerning the project, and monitored performance against plans and dealing with any problems that arises. The PM also kept the project team focus on the benefits that the project completion would bring to all end users and the organizational leaders. The PM utilizes the Statement of Work (SOW) to keep the project on track, under budget and completed on time.

 

Reference

Portny, S. E.Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E.  (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.