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

By on February 16, 2017

Communications, if not managed correctly, can lead to the disaster of the project. In Part I of this article we are discussion about “A very long project with many different companiesfon plan is set from the beginning to lead the project to the success.”

Case 2.COMMUNICATION PLAN IS NOT SET IN A LITTLE PROJECT

If no experienced project manager are designed to manage a little project communication plan is usually neglected. No experienced project managers do not see, still, the relationship between this knowledge area and the stakeholders management and human resources management.
Other important aspect I have observed is that in some countries the communication is neglected because project managers understand that communication only works in vertical direction, from Directors to Project Managers and vice versa. They do not understand that communication with team workers and other stakeholders is crucial for the project. Open communication channels, use of the official language in meetings for the project, honest professional relationship or no hidden information are often forgotten by them.
Other issue related with the communication management is the personal skills that the project managers have. Perhaps, because cultural influence, some of them see team workers as servants of the project. Perhaps, simply, because personal skills have to be developed to improve or built open communications. A symptom of this lack is that this kind of projects managers never ask for opinions or advice about the project in any of its aspects to the team members or ask to them about the difficulties found in the work. In any case, Directors have to be aware about these lacks in no experienced project managers and the consequences for the team and the company.
But, what are the consequences of a lack in communications ?
All of us have experience on this matter if we think a little bit about it. For example, next can be considered:

  • rework because some activity was made without approval of some stakeholder,
  • breakdown of the relationship with some stakeholders or change of the stakeholder’s engagement about the project, with the implications of it,
  • no motivation in team members,
  • no involvement of team members in the project objectives,
  • no confidence is built with the team in the future,
  • schedule is not fulfilled,
  • cost is not fulfilled,
  • quality of the product suffers,
  • new risks because lack of information in stakeholders appear,
  • decisions made by the project manager are revealed as incorrect once the information is shared with other stakeholders,
  • the image of the company weakens and other contracts are put under risk.

Teaching project managers about these cause-effect of the poor communication is responsibility of the Directors and they have to be aware of the personal skills and cultural influence in that no experienced project managers and its consequences.
I am a defender that developing personal communication skills with team members speaking a few minutes every day with them about project matters or not, is the best way to create a strong and efficient team and realize what are the situation in some aspects of the project.
Create confidence with stakeholders, including the client, is crucial. Proper and open channels have to be discussed with them, as well as the information needed. I was present in situations where not known client responsible for a project appeared in a meeting and asked to the no experienced project manager to shut up because this new responsible did not want to discuss with such a young project manager.
Also, Directors have to be aware that if team members do not see open communication in the daily working relationship they are not going to have this attitude and they are going to fail in this aspect.
What are the advantages of open communication with the team members and stakeholders ?
For example, all of us can recognize next:

  • members feel integrated in a common objective,
  • work flows easily because daily problems are shared openly without a sense of guilt,
  • risks are discovered sooner,
  • control of the work is easier because members do not hide things,
  • integration and coordination is improved,
  • rework is reduced,
  • schedule is easier to reach,
  • cost is better controlled,
  • quality is better controlled,
  • engagement of stakeholders is better identified,
  • change the engagement of the stakeholder to the desired engagement can be easier to get,
  • client can accept the work done easier,
  • company wins client confidence for future projects.

To be Avoided:

To be Avoided

To be Followed:

To be Followed

To be Avoided To be 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.