A Few Words My Experience In The Communication Management, Part I

By on February 1, 2017

Communications, if not managed correctly, can lead to the disaster of the project because stakeholder management and human resources management (human resources doing the work for the project or collaborating with the project) are directly affected and interconnected among them. Accordingly with the information provided by experts, 70 % of the projects failure is due to a lack in communications. Also, lack of communication between team members is the consequence of a failure of the human resources management.
Next, I am going to show some cases I suffered from a lack of communications due to different causes and leading to problems for the project.

CASE 1. A VERY LONG PROJECT WITH TO MANY DIFFERENT COMPANIES AND WITH DIFFERENT PROFILES FOR TEAM MEMBERS A COMMUNICATION PLAN IS SET FROM THE BEGINNING TO LEAD THE PROJECT TO THE SUCCES

The Technical Director and the Information Responsible elaborated, at the beginning of the Project a Communication Management Plan and Information System to define how communications should be followed and archived:

  • stablishing a hierarchical flow of the information,
  • controlling tightly the official communications with third entities,
  • do not allowing unofficial communications with third entities when contractual aspects are affected,
  • avoiding ineffective internal and external communications with excessive use of the emails,
  • prioritizing the communication internally among team members using daily conversations or little meetings leaded by the responsible of the affected team members, team building activity,
  • creating an archive system where all official communications and information is placed with a hierarchical system manged thought the use of permissions to install and retrieve the adequate information. The archive system matched with the organogram of the organization,
  • stabilising a strong control of the documents received and sent to third entities, reviewing the content of the information, the formats used, the references used, the person directly responsible…
  • stablishing a communication plan being accessible for all the team members and with a formation plan also to be known and followed for all of them, showing the consequences if this plan was not used correctly.

This plan was discussed with the top Management of the Contract for its approval immediately after being finished, but the Management of the Contract showed reluctance to limit the use of the emails in communications with third entities. The opinion among them was that the plan was too much formal. In fact, taken into account the complexity of the project by its extension, number of entities implied, and amount of team workers, the Communication Plan was elaborated to avoid misunderstandings and confusions with the information transmitted, to have a control with a proper archive system following the hierarchy and organogram of the team and a proper and timely distribution of the information to the correct responsible.

The Communication Plan and Information system were elaborated with next premises to be effective and efficient:

  • able to be followed by anyone in the organisation,
  • use of permitted procedures and channels,
  • avoid risks related with transmission of incomplete or incorrect information,
  • assignment to the affected responsible,
  • having an strong control of the followed procedures and the content and archive,
  • able to be reviewed to improve and correct deviations.

Even though the Plan was not approved officially by the Top Managers, it was followed and the responsible of the Information System kept a very strong control of the information, its distribution and archive and the Plan showed, with the time and after some legal complaints coming from some third Entities, that it was efficient and effective.

Team workers understood, after formation and after the use of the Plan, that the Plan was a tool to reduce their working time, to control contractual aspects of their work, to have a clear view of the organisation, their responsibilities and what was expected from them regarding the control of the contract.

Stakeholders also understood that the Plan was a tool to have a correct contractual relationship with the Organisation and that they had to have similar Plans.

To be Avoided:

avoided

To be Followed:

followed

Armando Capellan

I have twenty six years of experience, which includes 6 months as a research project manager at the “Centre d´Expérimentation Routière”, two years at the Zaragoza – Villanueva de Gállego dual carriageway; one year as an assistant site manager and one year as a site manager. Two years working as an engineer working on projects to build railway stations, developing a flood prevention plan for the Basque Country, and providing technical support at the under-river tunnels in the Bilbao Metro. One year as a site manager building three underpasses for a railway in Badalona. Four years in charge of the technical coordination of the Lisbon Metro construction site management. One year as technical department manager at the U.T.E. Sella (Dragados – Fomento) for building the Caravia-Llovio section of the Cantábrico dual carriageway. Four years as a project coordinator and construction consultant for the new Light Rail System in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto (Porto Metro). One year as a director and representative for ENSITRANS association, liaising with Porto Metro, responsible for the association’s management and technical coordination. In 2005 I was a representative for SENER consortium, which won the tender for the management and consultancy for completing phase 1 and expanding the Light Rail System in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto. I was in charge of “General Management and Consultancy”, which included the following areas; Tenders and Contracts, Cost Planning and Control, Information Systems, Project Analysis and Reconciliation, and the Integrated Security System for commissioning the Light Rail System for public use. Since March 2006, I have been the founding member and technical director of the company “Proyectos y Obras Singulares de Ingeniería Civil, THURRIS S.L.” 2009 Technical Director Orán Tranway for Isolux - Corsán Corvián S.A. Since 2010 Project Manager and Sales Manager for Portugal for Amberg Infraestructuras. Since 2012, Senior Project Manager for Projects in India for Amberg India.