I am struck, when I read this extract from Communicating Upwards for Effect, (Lynda Bourne’s great chapter in Darren Dalcher’s collected volume, Advances in Project Management) on the basic flaw in most governance procedures. In many cases, these place emphasis on using written communication as a prime medium for reporting problems or progress – or soliciting decisions. The trouble is, as Lynda so coherently explains, communication of anything with any degree of subtlety or complexity, requires a dialogue; something that report-writing generally eschews.
I suggest that whilst you certainly want everyone working in your organization to be emotionally invested in what they are doing, you nevertheless want them to be using their head and not their heart when it comes to decisions. This cautionary tale from Lev Virine and Michael Trumper’s award-winning book, ProjectThink: Why Good Managers Make Poor Project Choices illustrates the point very effectively.
Many organizations will continue to struggle with risk because they lack the sophistication to break it down in terms of the different actions available to them. Robert McKellar’s description of ‘near term’ and ‘contingency’ risk aptly illustrates the point.
There are definitely ways of doing things right (and wrong) in major projects. And communication during the bid process is very much one of those ways. Louise Hart offers a bullet-proof process for communicating the results in her new book Procuring Successful Mega-Projects.
With many large project organizations facing the retirement of large numbers of their most experienced, senior staff in the next few years the baby boomers, it raises the question of the extent to which experience can be communicated.
Stakeholder Management in a Matrix Organisation – Gower author Jake Holloway presents a webinar for the APM on Tuesday 25th at …