Communications Skills for Project Managers
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The document presents a report of the project called Miami Latinos (Fight against Cholera). It gives the most important information about the project organization and can be applied by other organizations to complete the project in similar field. The report explains such significant issues as: integration management, scope management, time/schedule management, cost management, quality management, human resource management, communications management, risk management, and procurement management. There are also some recommendations that may be useful for the organizations and can be applied as a guide in the process of work.
Several functional areas were created in order to integrate the project. They were: finance (accounting and wages), production (payables), purchasing and procurement (credit control), marketing (raw materials and equipment supply), and public relations (acquisitions). Project team reporting structure was subdivided into three stages: 1) organizational level, 2) procedure level, and final level. We also created optimization policy to intensify the progress of the project.
A lot of work was done to achieve project goals. First of all, we created a detailed plan to complete the project in time. Then, we suggested certain time periods to achieve each goal of the project and controlled the performance of each project team member. They reported each week and this gave us an opportunity to see the results and decide whether any changes should be made in the project. Of course, there were special scopes for everyone to follow. Therefore, each project team member was expected to achieve one general scope: to elevate cholera infection risks in the society that thrives in the slums of Miami by administration of mechanisms that facilitate the realization of that goal.
The project had certain goals to complete. Moreover, its administration prepared special steps to achieve its goals. All of them should have been done within a concrete time period. Time schedule for the project was the following on:
- Planning – 01.12.2012
- Organizing – 01.15.2012
- Searching for sponsors – 01.18.2012
- Creating final version of the project – 01.25.2012
- Advertising to attract the public’s attention – 02.01.2012
- Searching for other organizations to unite – 02.15.2012
It was analyzed and planned with the help of the project sponsor. We created a special fund to use during the project. It was applied when it was necessary to buy medicine, equipment and pay employees’ salary. Sometimes it was too expensive to cooperate with markets; that is why we created new ones or searched where to buy raw materials to apply. We frequently ordered materials and equipment via internet to economize money and time.
During the project its quality was properly controlled, monitored, and reported. Project executive manager was given a task to control the completion of each task and the performance of each project team member. To monitor the project quality we chose people responsible for each deliverable. Project team members got a detailed plan for each week and there was a special day to discuss the results of their work. It helped to analyze the progress of the project and the work of all project team members. Each project deliverable had its quality requirements that should have been met during the work. In financial area it was necessary to plan and search for finance to use in the project. In the public relationship sphere it was important o maintain public relations to get support. Administration had very high project quality as it should have administrated the work of all team members and the completion of the project. The quality of project deliverables was reported on the regular basis.
It was done in three different ways: 1) preparing the presentation of the results, 2) preparing the analysis of the project and the things that have been already done, and 3) asking project team members to demonstrate their achievements to the project manager and prepare a brief report on the basis of this information.
Human Resource Management
A lot of human resources were needed to complete a project. There were people composing administration of the project and employees. Administration consisted of the following members: project manager (Kanchi Patel), project developer (Michael Down), project designer (Lina Show), project editor (Helen Smith), project executive manager (Martin Green), and project sponsor. Each of them had certain obligations and tasks to complete during the project. If there was too much work to do for them, the tasks were distributed among these people in order to avoid hiring additional employees.
Project team communications occurred each time when it was necessary to discuss goals and methods of their achievement. Each project team member had the right to voice his/her suggestions and special discussion hours were organized to listen to everybody’s point of view. When there were several ways to solve the problem, we applied voting in order to choose the best decision.
To avoid some risks and get prepared to various unpredictable situations the project team created a special risk management plan. It is the enumeration of possible problems and ways to handle them. For example, to avoid staff shortage project manger tried to hire as many people as necessary to complete all project goals. In case of any shortage during the project it was suggested to distribute responsibilities among team members without hiring additional working force.
To foresee any lack of experience our project manager organized special lectures for project team members to teach them all necessary things. It was suggested that when any problem in the process of work occurred the team members would be taught how to cope with it during the project. There also could be lack of time to complete each goal of the project. To avoid this, the administration did everything possible to create a detailed time plan for each activity. When there was not enough time to do something, project members were asked not to concentrate on trifle things and pay more attention to important issues.
It should be noted that the project was procured by the sponsor. It was impossible for him to give all necessary finance for the project and we knew this. That is why there was a special fund created in order to use it in case of emergency. It was very useful when project team members needed additional equipment or raw materials. In this case, we did not bother the sponsor and handled some financial problems autonomously. Therefore, our fund was a guarantee that the project would always have enough finance to cope with its goals.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The goal of the project was achieved. The results showed that the level of cholera in Miami is really high and it is necessary to do something to change this situation for the better. One project is not enough to prove the public the importance of the problem. Unfortunately, no organization demonstrated its desire to cooperate with us. That is why it was necessary to work very hard to complete the project in time without any help.
Sometimes there was not enough finance to buy all necessary equipment and medicine, but we advertised and participated in television shows in order to attract the public’s attention to the problem. These activities helped us to gather all money we lacked. A detailed plan prepared from the very beginning was very useful as each project team member knew what to do and there were practically no problems in the process of work. The only significant challenge we met was lack of time. Each stage of the project required much thinking and doing a lot of things. Sometimes it was necessary to complete a task in a hurry because of the importance of matching time periods.
The project gave us an opportunity to prepare several important recommendations for other organizations that are going to start their work. It is better not to start a project if there is no goal. In this case, the project team members will have no motivation and no purpose to achieve. There also should be enough finance and time to complete a project successfully. That is why one is advised to find as many sponsors for the project as possible or do something in order to create a good fund for would-be expenses. Good advertising and constant communication with the public are very helpful to get support and additional money.