Today I’m shining a spotlight on how I manage my projects. I’m particularly interested in the communications between people on projects and regular readers will know that, as I cover it a lot.
I wanted to tell you how I run stakeholder communications on my projects (I’ve also covered the ‘how’ of stakeholder comms before). Not because I have amazing results from the strategies I use or anything, but because it’s always interesting to find out how other people do it.
Communication Strategy #1: Meetings
I don’t avoid meetings. In a recent discussion on ProjectManagement.com someone commented that the goal should be no meetings, but I don’t think that’s feasible or realistic on the projects I do.
However, I do aim for as short as possible and as infrequently as possible. In reality 45 minutes once a week is my norm. I don’t remember the last time I had a regular team meeting face-to-face. With a team split all over the place we do them on the phone.
If you have good collaboration tools then maybe you can get away with fewer meetings as long as your tools are adopted and really do meet the needs of the team in terms of working together.
I do tailor project meetings to the stage of the project. We have more meetings with more senior stakeholders in the early days, and then again towards the close. In the middle it’s more operational meetings to keep the project moving on. I include these because I feel strongly that the project team is also a stakeholder group in the project, so they need the same consideration and respect around project comms as anyone else.
I talked more about how I split my time and who gets communications when in this article about engaging stakeholders.
Communication Strategy #2: Phone
As I mentioned above, I use the phone a lot for team meetings. Having said that, I rarely text stakeholders. I’ll reply to texts but I don’t ever really think about them as a first choice when I need to say something.
On days where I need to get a lot done I will default to the phone, but generally my personal communication preference is…Click for more