All program managers need to strategically choose program communication processes. Unfortunately, technology has complicated the decision-making process for program managers, providing a myriad of methods for communication. Because there are so many choices, confusion often results. Our ability to extract value from technological advances in communication methods lags the rate at which new methods are created.

Our 5 part Guide to Program Communication Processes will ensure your program and project communication is streamlined and helps you achieve strategic goals.

Part 1 of 5: Notifiership
Part 2 of 5: Program Meetings
Part 3 of 5: Team Charters
Part 4 of 5: Virtual and Global Teams
Part 5 of 5: Program Presentation Basics

Part 1 of 5: Program Communication Processes – Notifiership

A second-career program manager (he retired as program manager for one company and came out of retirement for another) confided in me that he believed many project managers today have become bean counters rather than implementers of the project. These bean-counting project managers rely on the project management tool to send automated messages to team members informing them that a task is behind schedule or has been completed.

The odds that the sophisticated tools with all their capabilities are going away are nil, but what he misses from pre–software tools days is focused face-to-face communication. However, today’s world of virtual and global teams requires successful communication strategies even when face-to-face communication is minimal or impossible. This situation is not an excuse for notifiership. Effective project management requires more than sending electronic messages notifying people of their responsibility. Project management teams need to be led even when they are virtual or global. Therefore, program managers must ensure that project managers use communication methods to lead teams and don’t fall into the notifiership habit. Communication processes are leadership processes.

Focused face-to-face communication is still used for successful program management even in virtual and global teams; therefore, it must be accounted for and built into the program culture. Overall, communication can be either written or personal. Written communication can be on paper, such as a handwritten note or printed memo, or electronic, such as instant messages, e-mails, and web-based communications. Personal communication can be face to face or electronic. Personal electronic communication can be audio or video (live or taped). The opportunity for face-to-face communication can be a precious one; therefore, you need to leverage it to have the maximum impact on the program. One should schedule face-to-face meetings at important program junctures and to establish the foundation of relationships for program success. The more remote the team is, the more face-to-face communication opportunities are valued.

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.

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