Posts Tagged ‘Project Communications Management’

How Complex Is Your Project?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I talked about using the communications channel formula to understand your project’s complexity in my last post about communications management.   This formula can help you to identify how many people will be talking about your project among themselves and to other stakeholders.  First, indentify the number of team members on your project team. Then, plug the number into the formula:

N (N-1 )/2=Number of channels

where N equals the number of team members. The higher the number, the more complex your project and managing its communication will be. 

Let’s walk through an example.  You’re managing a project with fifteen team members including yourself.  In this scenario, do you think that managing communication will require much planning?  Well, let’s see how many communication channels your hypothetical project has. It’s a straightforward calculation:

 15 (15-1)/2=105 channels

Did it surprise you that a small project team, with only fifteen members could have 105 communication channels?  Does that change the way you think  about your own project?  Have you considered all the ways that your stakeholders could hear about your project?  Are you communicating frequently enough?  Are you providing the right level of detail to the right people at the right time?  When you think about your project in terms of its communications channels, it might cause you to re-evaluate how you manage your project.  You won’t be able to control every conversation, but you can be proactive about what gets communicated, when and to whom!  Upcoming topic…Project Management Framework- You’ve just been assigned as a Project Manager, but is it really a project?