Clear, Organized Communication as Project Manager

 

When communicating with a person professionally, Stolovitch reminds us to have the purpose up front. Emails, voicemails, phone calls, virtual/live face to face interaction need to be free from certain things that distort the message and sure to include the things that make the message clear, concise, and focused; list issues, scope of problem, need and possible thoughtful win/win solutions.  “Spirit and Attitude is key!” (Solovitch, n.d.).

The recipient should not be thinking about poorly structured or clumsily  delivered messages, especially when everyone is under a deadline. Offering help, emboldening and championing team growth, can help send a clear and acceptable message. Following Standards of Communication can help to ensure the message is appropriately received.  Be aware of your recipient like a writer that is aware of his audience.

Syntax and grammar issues make the tone seem unprofessional, patronizing and off-putting. It is selfish of a colleague to ask for data from a report that is not yet due, immediately after an all day meeting. Considering the colleague that is receiving the message, it was not well timed. When you know your colleagues has had a tough day it could be a bad time to ask him to put a rush on something, especially, for the sole sake of putting a colleague’s mind at ease.

Don’t dance around the message. Get to the point! Achong posits that when making requests from stakeholders, do so in an advisory or team building capacity. Ask questions that get directly to the heart of the needs of the team. Budrovich suggests tailor making communication strategies for each stakeholder. Knowing when the best time to talk to someone, how to be encouraging, team-oriented; being good steward is critical to the success of any project.

Don’t be a know it all. Never start a message that says “ I know you’ve been in a meeting all day but…” Unless it is absolutely urgent or for the overall benefit of the team, never ask for a sudden clumsy favor. If anything, try to build a relationship that allows a more unrestricted dialogue. It is not always what is said but, it’s how, when, and to whom it’s being said. A good relationship doesn’t have to tip-toe around favors or collaboration. Stolovitch also maintains that having Standards of Communication containing frequency, response time, language and format etc. should be a part of every project’s documentation process.  

Resources:

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

 

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Using Project Management to Start a Business

Although my father attended a top ivy league school for undergraduate school and one of, if not the top graduate business school in the United States, he did not force me to go into business, or even try to persuade me to, he always kind of just warned me about business and told me to learn all that I could before taking the plunge.

Since then, I have always wanted to start my own business. I watched him start and run a businesses for 30 years but never understood how he did it.  He did always encourage me not to be afraid to make mistakes, to live life faithfully and wisely, to work hard, and to be smart.

Currently, one of my projects involves setting up a network for people of all ages to glean from online content and participate in meet-up activities that will assist in their personal and professional aspirations.  It is a for profit entity that develops, designs, and delivers learning events and learning objects for people that have the desire for life and/or professional coaching.

So far, the biggest success I’ve had is taking the time to envision and write about the possibilities of how to bring this organization to life. Everything else has been a struggle. I have come up with numerous vague objectives and performed scant inquiries around a number of key start-up scoping procedures such as support and consulting, but have yet to produce anything thorough or substantial like a formal business/marketing plan,  literature review, market analysis, or feasibility study.

Despite not being an ivy leaguer and b-school grad, I expect that starting with the following Project Management strategies will, nevertheless, help my business start-up successfully:

  1. Initiating – I have already initiated the ideas of the organization, however for the organization to come to life I will need to be able to attach clear objectives and tasks which are attainable.
  2. Planning- My plans to date have been sporadic and inconsistently documented. I have things written in several places and need to have all pertinent information centralized. This plan will include a timeline and budget drafts.
  3. Executing – The tasks that have been executed so far has involved gathering names of individuals that could serve in a support and/or partnership capacity in order to build the teams necessary to produce top notch learning objects and cool and sophisticated learning events.  
  4. Monitoring and Controlling -Developing processes and utilizing digital instruments and applications to enhance: communicating and documenting expectations, problem solving, troubleshooting, listening to concerns, suggestions, and comments, motivating, decision making and negotiating.

Undoubtedly, there will be more to learn and do to start-up this business of mine, however,  these elements of Project Management will allow me to methodically approach this part of the process and to successfully build it to full potential.