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Taking time to define communication rules can be a good start

Created on 08 July 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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Global programs and projects often involve people from different organisational units and companies who have different standards, methodologies and tools for project management. These project managers might unite their efforts at the beginning of the project and define a common communication strategy for meetings, based on the standards of the organisation with the higher level of maturity or expertise in the project domain.

 

In some situations, the standards are imposed by the organisation responsible for the overall project execution, which must provide training and coaching on the meeting practices to stakeholders from other companies, in order to foster their use and reduce misunderstandings.

The chapter 7 of my book provides a starting point for the definition of meeting rules and templates, which can be adapted to your organisation methods and practices and implemented in your global project or program.

 

The first step is to understand what types of meetings might be effective on your project. The second step is to define an etiquette for meetings across cultures, together with your international team members and key stakeholders. The third step is to define templates focused on the efficiency required by online meetings.

 

Global project managers can also reduce misunderstandings by usual visual communication whenever possible. Charts and graphics can validate the understanding of team members distributed across the globe and speaking various languages.

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

The Global Project Binder

Created on 01 November 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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Simple tools for effective resultsThe best tools for online meetings allow the meeting moderator to update the project records during the meeting, sharing the results with the other participants. All team members can validate the points being taken, independently of their locations.

 

There are many types of tools, with complexity varying from text documents and spreadsheets to online project management and knowledge management solutions. For small to medium projects, with low level of complexity, a good spreadsheet can satisfy most requirements during the monitoring and controlling activities.

 

One example is the Global Project Binder (click here to download a template). One spreadsheet that contains the project records used by most projects. This tool is an example of how a very simple solution can provide outstanding results.

Use the forum to let us know your opinion on this tool, recommendations and bugs.

Last Updated on 01 June 2013
 

Essential Documents to Manage Your Projects

Created on 15 November 2007 Written by Sam Elbeik
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A SHORTCUT TO PROJECT SUCCESS

Speak to an experienced project manager, and they can give you a wealth of good advice on the do's and don'ts to successfully manage any project. All this advice, in a nutshell, would be about how to manage the people doing the work (that includes you too), to deliver their results on time and to a budget, while keeping the risk of failure to a minimum.

It really doesn't sound that difficult to do, but for some reason, many people think that project management is a massive overhead to any project. I often hear phrases like "oh, don't waste your time planning the work, just do it!" or "why are you wasting your time writing the objectives, we all know what needs to be done!". 

So the number one key to successfully manage any project is: "Understand the few essential brief documents you need to create and regularly review during the life of your project." 

 

DOCUMENT #1 - THE PROJECT CHARTER

For example, at the beginning of your project, you need to create a one-page document called the Project Charter. This document will make sure that you and your customer understand the general goals of the project. After all, if you don't know where you are going, how are you going to get there? Remember, you could also be your own customer!

To get this information, have a meeting with your customer and ask the following 3 essential questions: 

1. What are the objectives of your project?

2. What do you want to produce or deliver?

3. What is the business reason for doing this project? 

After the meeting write the answers to these questions in your Project Charter and email this back to your customer and ask them for their approval. 

You have now successfully completed the most important aspect of any project, and that is to understand and agree with your customer where you are going with this project. If you look at the time spent to achieve this important step in a project, you are looking at one or two meetings and about 30 minutes to write up the information, say 2 hours in total for a small project. Not a big overhead at all. 

 

DOCUMENT #2 - THE PLAN

You can now get on and create the second document call the plan. This will include a list of the work that needs to be done (also referred to as the scope of work), who will do it, the cost and time to do this work, and finally a simple review of what will go wrong (known as a risk assessment). 

 

DOCUMENT #3 - THE PROGRESS REPORT

On a regular basis, anything from weekly to monthly, you need to create a progress report and deliver this to your customer. They want to know what work was done, when, and how much was spent. They also want to know if you need their help to solve any problems. Your major challenge is just collecting this information so that you can create your regular progress report. 

 

A FINAL THOUGHT

I have described the absolute minimum information you need to manage any project, and the key to success is understanding the few essential brief documents you need to create with this information - the Project Charter, the Plan and the Progress Report. I hope it leads you to success in your projects. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Sam Elbeik is an accomplished international project management trainer and author. See his profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/samelbeik and invite him to join your network.Visit www.itcentre.com for more help on managing your projects and claim your free project management newsletter 

© 2007 Dr Sam Elbeik. All rights reserved

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

A mindmap on common rules and templates

Created on 23 November 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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Download a mindmap that can help you to define common rules and templates across country borders.

Click here to download a mindmap on common rules and templates for global projects

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 
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