TIPS to Monitor & Control
Monitor Communications: The process of determining if the information needs of the project Stakeholders are met.
Control Communications: The process of making changes to the communications when required, to ensure the information needs of the project Stakeholders are met.
Communications can be to you, or from you. For example, during the planning process of Collect Stakeholder Requirements (discussed under Scope), you are looking for information coming to you. During execution of the work, the progress, status, and cost updates will go from you to your Stakeholders. The goal is to ensure optimal information flow among all communication participants at any moment in time.
How to MONITOR (INSPECT) COMMUNICATIONS:
1. Communications inspection is always assessed against the Communications
management Plan (CMP). Keep this handy and available.
2. You will want to check that the Communications transmit:
the right messages (including accuracy)
the right impact
at the right time (also consider time zones)
to the right people
at the right place
the right level of detail
using the right medium, format, and distribution method
with the right formality
for the right reason
at the right cost
Useful tools to monitor Communications include:
+ Customer Surveys (ie: Ask, "Are you getting the information you need?")
+ Feedback from Stakeholders other than customers, about the communications
+ Lessons Learned from previous projects
+ Issue Log (Click Here),
+ Project Management Information System (PMIS)
+ Seek an expert in the field of Communications
How to CONTROL (CORRECT) COMMUNICATIONS:
Changes are required when Monitoring reveals that Stakeholders' information needs are not being met. You will want to use a problem solving technique to determine:
how big is the problem?
what alternatives are available for solving the problem?
If the information to you, or from you, is not satisfactorily meeting needs, consider changing one of the variables listed under "Monitor" above. Those variables again are:
Accuracy, Impact, Timing, Audience, Location,
Level of detail, Medium, Format, Distribution,
Formality, Confidentiality, Reason, and Cost.
Also consider Stakeholder relationships among the possible causes of Communications problems.
Be careful not to make many changes at one time, or you will not know which change(s) were effective.
After making changes to your Communications approach, increase your frequency of Monitoring to quickly determine the effect of the changes you made. Continue working with these variables until Stakeholder needs have been satisfactorily met.
If the change you made causes an improvement, alter your Communications Plan accordingly.
In your Communications planning you may have set targets such as number of newsletters per month, number of public open houses per phase, and so on. The Running Total graph is an excellent and simple way to monitor and illustrate progress of these targets. Click the link below for more information.
Remember: Communications always involve Stakeholders. Stakeholder are people, and people will not always behave the way you think is logical. Allow for flexibility in your Communications to ensure the information needs of the project Stakeholders are met
Communications against Time (Running Total)