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Maintain Project Communication

Take a Proactive Approach to Achieve Effective Project Communication The goal is to ensure effective communications and coordination with the customer and between the leads of each of the groups on the project throughout the development effort:

  • Project management,
  • Systems engineering,
  • Requirements engineering,
  • Software development,
  • Configuration management,
  • Quality assurance,
  • Integration and test,
  • Documentation,
  • All subcontractors, and any other groups specific to the project not listed above such as project control/budget or planning/tracking.

Providing information to the lead for a group does not necessarily mean that the information gets to the members of that group. Accordingly, it's important for the PM and the chairs of project teams to emphasize an attitude and expectation of open and full communication and coordination. Successful projects are characterized by documentation of their work activities and work products. For example, it's important that meeting minutes are taken and made available in a timely manner. These and other documentation artifacts should be readily accessible by all project performers in the project's electronic library.

A related issue is that effective communication is difficult. The same words can mean different things to different people, due to a host of factors. The expectation by organizations and project leaders in conveying that it is each person's responsibility to communicate effectively can go a long way to minimizing the impact of communication issues.

Utilizing a project sub-team consisting of the PM, the leads for each of the groups, the leads for each subcontractor, and possibly a customer representative can facilitate the goal of effective communication. It's less important what you call it than that this mechanism is provided. One approach that has been used successfully is to call this sub-team the Project Configuration Control Board (CCB).