Project Communication

Flickr photo by loop_oh
Project managers who are effective communicate 90% of the time. There are no misunderstandings, there are only failures to communicate. Project managers communicate using different media to convey a message. The message could be sent to one person, a select group of team leaders, project sponsors, or the entire team. To avoid communication failures, it is crucial for project managers to get the message across the first time.
The three main components of projects are the scope, schedule, budget. The primary responsibility of the project manager is to determine the scope of the project using the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS is a hierarchical numbering system, which is accompanied by a brief description of each node. The WBS facilitates stakeholder communication. The WBS dictionary provides the complete details (inputs and outputs, assumptions, etc.) of each WBS package at the technical scope that is being controlled and delivered. The project managers and their teams break down or subdivide the major project deliverables into smaller, more manageable pieces. After completing the Project Plan and WBS dictionary, the technical scope baseline is fully communicated. Configuration management is then done.
The detailed schedule is created semi-concurrently to the WBS dictionary activity. The technical scope of the detailed schedule is reflected in a series iterative processes that gradually expand the WBS into sub-activities. At the reporting level 3, control accounts are established. WBS level 4 is where cost accounts are established. The technical scope of the account is controlled and delivered according to the WBS dictionary. 1) Activity definition, 2) Activity duration estimation, 3), Activity dependencies, 4), Activity resource assignments, 5), Critical Path Review, 6), Resource loaded network (RLN), acceptance. These processes are performed by project technical experts with the help of project controls to ensure a formal, agreed-to, realistic, and bought-in plan. Before establishing the baseline schedule, the project manager must accept the RLN.
To achieve costing and performance metrics, the RLN is used to feed into the earned value budget application, such as Deltek Cobra. This is where scope has been defined, communicated and elaborated. Then, resources have been logically assigned to achieve the desired results. This is where the WBS level 4-basis of estimating (BOE), is captured. The technical scope is then controlled and delivered. A BOE’s primary function is to record the reasoning behind the development of WBS level 4 estimates (e.g. specific tools and techniques that were used to develop the time and cost estimates in order to produce the deliverables as defined in the WBS dictionary. Project controls collect cost metrics and apply them to the time estimates made by technical experts in RLN. The RLN uses 1) 0/100 sub-activities that last 160 hours or less, 2) 50/50 sub-activities that last 160+ hours to max 320hrs, and 3) interim milestones that last 320+ hours using?steps? The corresponding finish dates are used to calculate the weighted % completion of sub-activities, 2) 50/50 for 160+ hours to max 320hrs sub-activities, and 3) interim milestones for 320+ hours using?steps? These activities are what produce the initial project cost. Technical experts and project managers then apply the contingency reserve to critical path activities, thereby producing the project budget. The management reserve is the cost baseline for high probability events. High impact events are considered high risk.
The project manager integrates the technical, schedule, and cost baselines.