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Controls Communicate?

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,
"it means just what I choose it to mean - nothing more and nothing less."
Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass

Keywords: Stakeholder, Relationships, Communication, Soft Skills. 

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Controls Communicate  [P160]

Projects and programs are intended to deliver value to organisations. Value is achieved when the outcomes of the projects and programs meet the requirements and expectations of the executive that approved, funded and resources them.  Decisions about which projects and programs to select to deliver the best benefits to the organisation, assurance that these projects and programs continue to deliver these benefits, and support to the managers of projects and programs have one thing in common: information.

Information from your project's control systems support the decision makers, informs people and organisations of the work required to be done, monitors progress, and provides support and assurance at all levels of the organisation of progress or of the need for intervention. Communication is the mechanism for creating this information (the data in a control tool is useless until it is communicated). Therefore communication is the only tool for the effective control of the delivery of organisational value through the mechanism of a project! Whether it is information about reasons for projects and programs being initiated, or reports on progress, management of stakeholder expectations, lessons learned or risk management; communication – the two way flow of targeted informationis the lifeblood of the successful delivery of the organisation's strategic objectives. Everything is about communication – the artefacts and processes of project management such as schedules, reports, meetings, etc are all focused on creating and communicating information. Of equal importance are the choices made about the delivery and frequency of information exchanges, who is communicated with, and how the communication is targeted, formatted and of course its content. All of these aspects play a part in the information exchanges needed to build the appropriate connections, controls and relationships to ensure that the projects that an organisation approves, funds and resources, deliver the expected value.  

This paper will explore how communication in the form of information exchange controls and assists the work of organisations create value and drive performance, and the effect caused by the way these control systems are developed to assure management that the work is progressing as planned. It will take a critical look at what can, and what cannot be achieved by project control systems (people, tools and outputs) in the effective management of projects from a communication, motivation and stakeholder management perspective, and explore how communication in the form of information exchange controls and assists the work of organisations to deliver value to all stakeholders.

Author: Lynda Bourne

Presented at:

Construction CPM

January 27-30, 2013
   New Orleans, Louisiana
Australian Institute of Project Management – Queensland Chapter, Qctober 2013

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