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Getting the 'soft stuff' right - Effective communication is the key to successful project outcomes!

"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."
Niels Bohr

Keywords: Communications, Project Office, Project Reporting, PMO.

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Getting the 'soft stuff' right - Effective communication is the key to successful project outcomes! [P055]
Previewed as 'Communicating for effect – the art of communicating successfully' - PMI Melbourne Chapter July 2007 event [ Download presentation ].

No senior manager with integrity will commit to a project knowing its objectives cannot be achieved. Most projects that are committed to achieve ‘impossible’ time, cost and/or scope objectives are started because the correct ‘project management’ messages were not received and believed by the senior managers commissioning the project.

Effective communication with senior management is not a one-off effort by an individual project manager. Rather it’s an on-going collegiate effort by all project practitioners within the organisation; designed to inform, educate and influence senior managers so that ‘sensible’ project decisions become the norm. This effort is
helped significantly by the presence of an effective PMO structure.

PMI’s new ‘Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct’ requires members to respect themselves and others and to act responsibly, fairly and honestly. Particular emphasis is placed on truthful communications and the provision of accurate information in a timely manner. These requirements are the foundation of credibility and the failure of one project manager to live up to these standards damages the credibility of all project managers.

A key element in honest communication is knowing what is possible. Writing on pieces of paper does not change the future! It's therefore critical that project practitioners clearly explain the limitations of project management processes and use effective risk management to deal with the inherent uncertainty associated with every project forecast; then actively monitor, update, adjust and report progress.

This paper discusses:

Author: Patrick Weaver

Presented at:
PMI Global Congress 2007
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