The lack of communication, or poor communication, is a major reason why projects fail across the board. We’ve all heard this before. Sure, you can set up your status reports and meetings, and make sure everyone is involved; however, ultimately the responsibility is put on the project manager or project director to communicate all these things manually.
When managing a project, establishing the right communication strategies to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page is key. It’s important to create the right sequence of processes and proper networks across the organization so everyone who needs to be informed has access to the data at any point during a project’s life cycle.
This is the third blog of a seven-part blog series (see the second blog here) that discusses why productivity in Project Business has flatlined by addressing the seven challenges of a Project Business).
Challenge #3: Inadequate Communication Among Key Stakeholders or Lack of Stakeholder Collaboration
Unfortunately, in project-based companies, or Project Businesses, one of the primary reasons why many stakeholders including project planners, project controllers, general account managers, procurement officers, etc., are unable to collaborate effectively is because they are operating in different tools using different information. How can any effective communication or project governance program be implemented in such a disjointed arrangement?
“The procurement officer works in an ERP system, the project planner works in Primavera, and the project controller in Excel,” said Henrik Lerkenfeld, VP of Engineering at Adeaca.
These stakeholders have different versions of project information and operate within their own silos which makes it difficult for them to collaborate and have a shared opinion of where the project is at.
“When the procurement officer sees the delay on a purchase order, how is it brought to the attention of the planner that he now needs to adjust his schedule?” he said. “The procurement part and the planning part don’t interact. This just leads to general misalignment in the project.”
The same goes for the financial aspect of a project. What if your EACs don’t match up to your operational plan? If the operational plan has been baselined and revised multiple times without being translated into a financial impact, you’re left with an operational plan that says you’re on target and a financial plan that says you’re not.
Everyone on the Same Page
While establishing an effective communication strategy is key, it’s more than just doing a better job of managing sending emails. Successful Project Businesses understand that to do a better job of communicating, everyone needs to be on the same page. It’s about giving key stakeholders the tools and having them work from one source of truth. This enables more effective communication as well as collaboration between stakeholders and ultimately ensures better outcomes for your projects.
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