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5 Tips for Managing Project Communications in a Crisis

In this video I look at project communications during a crisis (text summary below).

For those of you who prefer reading or who can’t watch the video, here’s a summary:

There are always things that go wrong on projects – sometimes those issues are small; sometimes they are significant. Here are 5 tips to help you deal with project communications during an issue.

1.     Have a single point of contact

Appoint a single point of contact to deal with communications during the incident. That could be you or someone else from the project team, but make sure everyone knows who to go to for communication updates and who will be asking them for status reports. This person is dedicated to running the communication for all the stakeholders.

2.     Deal in facts

There will probably be quite a lot of emotions during a problem – people have an emotional response to what has gone wrong. Strip that back and deal with what you know to be true.

3.     Deal with what people are worried about

You might be dealing with something behind the scenes, such as a software bug, but your end users might be worried about something else. Don’t dismiss these views as unimportant. Those concerns are valid: listen to what those people are saying and deal with what is bothering them, even if that means you are splitting your efforts between fixing the behind the scenes problem and dealing with concerns from your users.

4.     Be fast

Get your messages out there as quickly as possible. It’s the best way to squash gossip before it starts.

5.     Plan for power down

Think about how you will deal with project communications if you don’t have electricity. It happens: power lines are cut through and generators go down. When you can’t rely on email, instant messaging or people being in front of their computers, how are you going to get the messages out?

View all my project management videos on my YouTube channel here.

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This is my video diary from the Association for Project Management’s Women in Project Management Special Interest Group 21st Anniversary Conference last week. Approx 5m22s.

 

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A world in which all projects succeed [video]

The APM vision that’s been hotly debated over the last 12 months or so is ‘a world in which all projects succeed’. Should all projects succeed? Or should we be taking risks and launching some projects that might not come to anything? Or should all projects have the best possible chance of success?

In this video, some project management experts discuss this vision statement and what is likely to be possible in the future.

 

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How can I help you now it’s too late? [video]

Last autumn I presented (virtually) at the PMI Southern Ontario Chapter about Customer-Centric Project Management and continuous improvement as a better approach to lessons learned than the traditional project-implementation review. It was a good experience to give a presentation over webcam and audio conference, but it was weird not having immediate feedback from the people in the room as I couldn’t see if they were really interested or falling asleep.

I recorded a version of my presentation just in case technology let us down on the day. This video gives you an overview of the main points about customer-centricity that you should be aware of on your projects.

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The video of me at Øredev speaking about how customer centricity improves success is available online on the conference website. It’s a presentation about the case study in the book I co-wrote with Phil Peplow last year, Customer-Centric Project Management, but it also includes an updated project case study and some material that didn’t appear in the book.

Credit: KenLee Fre S3 Recording on 2012-11-09 1258-Vimeo1 from Øredev Conference on Vimeo.

The video is about 40 minutes long.

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This video shows the follow up for a project I first heard about at Synergy 2011: using project management techniques in UK schools to equip young people for school projects and also their future working lives. This video shows the end of that particular initiative and what happened at the school after the project management training sessions completed and the students had to present their projects.

This video is about 8 minutes long and I first saw it during International Project Management Day at PMI Synergy 2012.

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