Lynda.com - Narrative Portraiture: On Location in Texas Software Sales

Autosketch Microsoft Word II: Building on lessons learned in Word Introduction class. You will format a more extensive document than in the intro class. Google Searches: Google is one of the most powerful search engines. Learn how to search the Internet using Google. Power Point: Get started with one of the best networking tools on the Internet. Learn how to set up account and build your LinkedIn profile. Google Docs: Google Docs is a great way of sharing documents over the internet.

Find out how to get started with this great tool. Feb 1 Microsoft Word Intro Feb 4 5: Microsoft Excel Intro Feb 8 Microsoft Excel intro Feb 13 Resume Writing Feb 18 5: Job Searching Feb 25 5: Microsoft Word Intro Feb 27 Microsoft Publisher Intro March 1 Microsoft Word Intro March 4 5: Microsoft Excel Intro March 8 Microsoft Excel intro March 13 No Class March 15 Project File: See below for instructiions.

Figure A communication plan can be as simple or as sophisticated as your project requires for delivering information to the people who need it. Who Needs to Know? The first step to creating a communication plan is identifying who needs to know something about the project.

Stakeholders are obvious audiences for project communications, but other groups often needor wantproject information. Here are some typical audiences, both stakeholders and ancillary groups, you might include in a communication plan: The project team is the core of communication. Team members work on the project every day. Management stakeholders share similar needs for project communication and can include customers, the project sponsor, a steering committee or leadership team, members of the change management board, functional managers, and so on.

The customer is part of the management stakeholder group, but often wants different information delivered in different ways. The project sponsor is also part of the management stakeholder group, but is usually involved more intimately with the project.

For example, you might send the project sponsor the same information that you provide to other management stakeholder groups, but also meet face to face for in-depth discussions. Supporting groups might be involved in your project from time to time and need to know specific information.

The legal department gets involved only to work on contracts or to review documents for legal issues. Other supporting groups include operations, manufacturing, IT, and other departments. External audiences can be very involved in your project. For example, vendors, suppliers, partners, and the project managers who work for them can belong to your core team.

Investors and regulatory agencies such as the IRS or a public utility commission might represent additional external audiences. For these audiences, the format and schedule of communication is often already specified, such as the financial statements that the SEC requires.

As you develop your communication plan, the golden rule is to give the audience what it wants. Just as a Gantt chart might make perfect sense to you and not one whit to the customer, the methods of communication you choose must actually get the message through to your audience. And if that means you have to prepare a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for the steering committee, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the accounting department, a Microsoft Word document for project teams, and a Microsoft SharePoint site for the developers, so be it.

After all, your job as project manager is to make the project a success, and communicating information successfully is a big part of that. Best Practices: However, opting out has one downside that he makes sure everyone understands up front.

To make sure responsibility lies where it belongs, anyone who opts out of receiving communications must abide by decisions that are made without their input. What Do You Communicate to Audiences? Sad but true, people hear only what they want to hear. For example, the customer, project sponsor, and management stakeholders need status reports, but they also want information about the project strategy and issues and risks that might affect the business objectives for the project.

For example, you communicate the benefits of your project, the problem statement, and the project objectives to everyone involved, even though team members might want to know only what their task assignments are. For another example, if a project is going to change how processes in your organization are going to work, you can begin to tout the benefits of the changes.

You can categorize project information in different ways. For example, you might categorize information based on what different groups need to know: This section describes information you typically communicate in projects and then categorizes it by the groups that use it. Keep track of each type of information that you provide to each audience because the distribution method and timetable you choose may vary based on the information.

For example, you might distribute project status every week while the stakeholders want a thorough financial update once a month. Here are types of project information that you distribute by phase in a project: Project planning: The components of the project plan help people involved with the project understand the purpose of the project and their roles in completing it successfully. From the problem statement to the schedule and the communication plan, each component describes how you plan to run the project.

Some audiences review planning documents in detail and approve them, whereas other groups use them simply as direction for the work they perform. Project execution and control: Once the plan is approved and you begin to execute that plan, people need to know the rules.

You have to provide people with procedures, such as reporting time and expenses, requesting time off, escalating issues, and so on. The status you provide varies by the needs of the audience. For example, the elegant programming shortcut that is helpful and fascinating to the development team would put management stakeholders to sleep.

Project closure: You wrap up projects with reports that summarize the performance of the project. Project publicity: Regardless of the phase a project is in, you want to build enthusiasm and commitment for it.

Publicizing a project early on might include announcements in the company newsletter, contests to name the project, or road shows that describe the purpose and benefits of the project. During project execution, you might use a project newsletter to publicize accomplishments, host celebrations upon completion of significant milestones, or distribute pens or coffee cups emblazoned with the project logo.

And nothing beats meeting stakeholders and team members one-on-one to build commitment. Management Stakeholders Management stakeholders, including the customer, project sponsor, and other high-level stakeholders, typically care about the overall business goals of a project.

Early on, they evaluate the project plan to ensure that it meets their needs. During project execution, they frequently review performance, such as how much progress has been made, how much money has been spent, and the quality of the results that have been achieved. As internal customers, company executives often require more detailed project information than external customers. Here is some of the information that management stakeholders want to receive: The project plan: During planning, management stakeholders must ensure that the proposed plan satisfies their needs.

Later, if requirements or criteria change, these stakeholders revisit the project plan while negotiating change orders, contract revisions, or modifications to the project goals. Project status: Executive summaries of project status focus on high-level performance and accomplishments.

If you are measuring other aspects of project performance, such as lines of code written or statistics about defects found and fixed, they want to know whether the metrics are good or bad and about the trends in performance. Financial information: These stakeholders understand and care about the financial measures for projects, so they want to know the current financial results, including performance compared to the budget and other metrics, such as ROI. Change requests: Some management stakeholders need to know about change requests.

For example, the customer, project sponsor, and members of the change management board must evaluate change requests to see whether they should be approved or rejected. Executives plan for the long term, so they also want to know what is in store for the project in the future. Is the project going to deliver on time and under budget Will it deliver the financial results they want Will it achieve its objectives Or are changes necessary? Functional Managers Functional managers usually provide the people who perform the project work, so they need to see project plans to understand the skills required, to know when their people are needed, and to be aware of any constraints, such as cost or availability.

Once people are working on assignments, functional managers want to know how much longer those people are needed or might ask if they can substitute someone else.

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Lynda.com - Narrative Portraiture: On Location in Texas Software Sales

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