Project Management: The Managerial Process

Project Communications Plan

A successful project implementation starts with accurately and competently organized communication system. Proper quality and speed of data exchange between different stakeholders within a project ensures the sustainability of teamwork and contributes to the timely corrections and ultimate delivery of the project outcomes. The choice of methods and techniques for information distribution and results feedback collection is crucial because it might affect the overall outcomes of the project (Kerzner, 2014). For the Benefit Specification Form to Online Plan Portal Migration project, the communications plan will consist of the description of inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs that will be reflected in Figure 1 and the communication matrix.

Data Flow Diagram.
Figure 1. Data Flow Diagram.

As the Figure 1 shows, the information exchange will be carried out with the help of the interactive communication model that enables all the members of the project team cooperate and be informed about the project advancement. The input information, containing the requirements and instructions articulation is distributed from the project manager to both the implementation manager and the account managers.

The output data will be exchanged in the reverse direction, and the account managers will deliver daily reports about the completed sections of work to both the implementation manager and the project manager. Such a precise disclosure of the information necessary for the project completion will ensure effective communication inside the team and will contribute to the cooperation and roles distribution.

Within management information systems, the project team will collect and analyze the data about the performance progression throughout the implementation process by retrieving daily reports from account managers. The tools that will be used include organizational database access and e-mail exchange of PDF files containing daily reports on the completion of sections of work at all stages of project implementation.

Also reports, briefings, and team meetings will be initiated to improve communication. Among the communicational techniques there will be such as effective usage of both oral and written communication skills by the team leaders and scheduling of the communicational activities. The steps include data entry, data comparison, and account managers’ and clients’ training. A detailed description of the particular actions undertaken within the communication plan might be found in Table 1.

Table 1. Communication Matrix.

Information Sender Receiver Time Method of communication
Project implementation plan Project Manager Implementation manager As required E-mailing the file, personal meeting for discussion
Data entry requirements articulation Implementation Manager, Project Manager Account Managers Eight weeks E-mail, team meeting
Data entry reporting for quality monitoring Account Managers Implementation Manager, Project Manager Daily during eight weeks E-mail
Project status reports Implementation Manager Project Manager Weekly E-mail, briefings
Project completion report Implementation Manager Project Manager At the end of the implementation procedure Personal meetings, e-mailing a document

Thus, communication planning includes all the information that is needed for the primary stakeholders involved in the project (Project Management Institute, 2017). Timely exchange of the input data that consists of the requirements and detailed instructions, as well as output data including periodic reports on the project advancement, change, and completion, will help improve the project’s results. The team members should adhere to the plan and deliver the necessary data by the indicated time.

Risk Analysis Plan

The purpose of the risk analysis plan is to identify the possible deviations from the plan and prepare for the elimination of the adverse effects of the anticipated risky events. Risk management activities should be planned beforehand to ensure the team’s readiness to complete the project successfully even when some changes will be required (Project Management Institute, 2017). The input for the risk management plan includes precise definition of the roles the key stakeholders play in the project implementation process.

For the Benefit Specification Form to Online Plan Portal Migration project, project manager, implementation manager, and account managers are given the leading and executing roles and need to perform within the scope of the identified responsibilities. Another element of input is the organization’s policy of tolerance to risk that might help determine the level of risk importance and its urgency. Also, it is vital to develop a risk management plan template that will address the possible risks, their sources, and severity (Larson & Gray, 2014).

The project team might use such techniques as brainstorming and plan meetings discussions to enlist the main possible risks and assess their potential influence on the project outcomes. The main tool for effective risk management planning will be a SWOT analysis that will enable the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the project. These tools and techniques will be sufficient for the qualitative risk analysis.

The output is the actual risk management plan that identifies the possible threats to the project scope and the ways of their elimination. In terms of the assessment of qualitative risk analysis, the risks are of high or very high urgency and a high level of impact that might cause schedule irregularity and cost losses. A detailed risk management plan for the Benefit Specification Form to Online Plan Portal Migration project is demonstrated in Table 2.

Table 2. Risk Management Plan.

Risk Source Probability Impact Urgency Mitigation
The new online portal software is not received by the time of the planned beginning of the project External Low The start of the project could be delayed and the schedule changed High Ensure the effectiveness of the communication with the IT department for timely delivery of all necessary software to start the project on the planned date.
The time of data entry is more than eight weeks Internal High The data comparison and training stages of the project completion will be delayed and the cost losses will follow due to the more extended working hours of the team members Very high Enable constant measurement of the project advancement with the help of daily reports. Estimate the changes in workload accordingly.
The training of customers will take longer that one week Internal Low The engagement of account managers will take more time and will lead to more significant cost expenses High Ensure quality training of account managers for their competent service delivery and training for the clients

Risk identification is an essential element in risk management planning. It is possible to verify the probability of risks and their urgency by a research of the similar projects being implemented by the same organizations or other enterprises. The experience analysis will help to enhance the scope of possible risks and will allow constructing a mitigation plan to prevent the dangers or minimize their adverse impacts (Larson & Gray, 2014).

The accurate detection of the source of risk might amplify the prevention and mitigation activities effectiveness. As for the environmental factors of risk, they might be of external or internal character. Internal risks emerge within the organization and are easier to predict and mitigate. According to Table 2, there are two internal risks the probability of which will depend on the quality and speed of work of the account managers. External threats are the ones that occur outside of the organization and might be more difficult to predict and prevent. The delivery of the original software for the inception of the project is the only external risk that might be mitigated by means of effective communication with the appropriate entities.

Thus, precise planning is essential for successful project implementation. Timely identification of possible risks and the establishment of effective communication between the stakeholders ensure flawless cooperation and project change management. The prior articulated methods of communication, tools, and techniques, as well as the roles and responsibilities recognition, will contribute to the ultimate success of the project. Therefore, in case if the planning is carried out accurately, the goal of a smooth transition from Benefit Specification Form to Online Plan Portal Migration will be accomplished.

References

Kerzner, H. (2014). Project management best practices: Achieving global excellence (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Larson, E., & Gray, C. (2014). Project management: The managerial process (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.