At LTI Management, we believe that a project manager’s main role is to facilitate effective communication. In fact, we find that communications comprises about 90% of their time.
Communication is complex. We start any project by truly identifying the expectations of the key stakeholders and the project team. Once we understand everyone’s interest in the project, level of influence and project role, we have our working matrix for project communication flow.
Who Needs What?
With this matrix in place, we layer in the type of communication each individual needs executive updates, project updates, official documents, change orders, etc – and consider the action required.
Do they just need to be kept in the loop or is a specific decision needed to keep the project moving forward? LTI Management’s project managers factor this into how the information is communicated.
We also tailor information delivery based on individual’s preferred communications style. Do they respond best to email or texts? Do they want to know all of the details or do they just want to understand their most pressing tasks?
LTI Management’s Value-Add
We are fearless when it comes to communications because it’s at the heart of the value-add we provide. From our partnership viewpoint and expertise in this role across a wide variety of project types and individual style, we ask critical questions and bring insight.
Who are your decision makers?
Within companies, on paper and across roles, it may be assumed this is clear. However, sometimes situations arise where a person wants to be a decision maker, but in reality they always need sign off from someone else.
LTI openly defines decision maker and stakeholder roles and stresses the importance of abiding by these roles for project efficiency.
Does everyone at the table understand the details?
Effective project managers reserve the right to ask all “dumb” questions.
If they don’t, who will?
They own the large picture vision so it’s a project manager’s responsibility to explain it in terms everyone can understand. Too often, people won’t raise their hand to say they don’t understand, expecting that they’ll be alerted to key things they need to be aware of as they arise.
And while sometimes projects are managed in this manner, LTI believes in setting upfront expectations across the board so individuals understand process and can be more proactive.
Clear, efficient, deadline-driven communication keeps everyone on the same page and eliminates confusion. LTI Management acknowledges stakeholder and project team’s heightened levels of demands on their time.
We plan for it.
This means additional reminders, personal phone calls when necessary and setting and sticking to deadlines, are key to project success.
LTI Management’s Value-Add Process
• Identifying the stakeholders and defining project roles
• Determining a communication matrix which identifies who needs what
• Understanding and adhering to the recipients preferred communication style
• Following up in writing for meetings, decisions, etc.
• Tracking the tasks to help people meet deadlines
If you work with project managers on a frequent basis, are they asking the sometimes difficult and often critical questions about project roles? Are they communicating in clear, concise, deadline-driven ways that keep you engaged and help you manage your time?