Managing Project Communication Using PRINCE2® – Part 2 of 3

Consistent and clear communications is the cornerstone to achieving effective project outcomes. It isn’t enough to use PRINCE2 to plan for effective project communication, as we discussed in my previous post.  Successful project managers must know how to implement that plan! Effective project communications requires timely and relevant information distribution, accurate and timely reporting, and consistent logging of all correspondence.  This is a crucial part of the PRINCE2 communication management cycle. Let’s have a look at the PRINCE2 activities for executing the Communications Management Strategy.

Reporting project progress and status

Reporting project progress should be done according to the contents of the Communication Management Strategy.  There are four PRINCE2 management products typically used for progress reporting:

  1. Highlight Reports are sent from the project manager to the project board, focusing on management stage status and progress to date.
  2. Checkpoint Reports are from the team managers to the project manager, and focus on the more detailed work package status and progress to date.
  3. End Stage Reports are developed by the project manager near the end of a management stage, and summarize stage and overall project status to date.
  4. End Project Reports take a look at overall project status near the end of a prematurely terminated or successfully completed project.

Reporting other project information

There are a number of situations where additional project information is formally reported both to the Project Board and to key project stakeholders.  The following management products provide reports on specific areas of a PRINCE2 project, such as publishing lessons learned and notification of an exception situation at the project or stage level.

Executing across the scope of the project environment

The project manager must make sure that the strategy covers all relevant aspects of the project environment and its key systems and stakeholders.   For example, if you are executing a communication management strategy within an IT organization, you would apply and execute your strategy across all staff members that develop, use, and/or maintain computer related systems.  In addition, you would look at folks involved with all computer-related hardware and software systems including multi-user/multi-site applications and the underlying supporting infrastructure, including information security, systems and data, computer related equipment and instruments, and stand-alone application software and utilities.

Part 3 of this series will take a closer look at the seven key PRINCE2 management products that define and drive effectie project communciations.  Stay tuned…

Remember, a copy of the PRINCE2 method is required reference material in any project manager’s bookshelf!  The method is documented in the OGC publication Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2”which is officially published by TSO.  Serious project managers seeking to enhance their knowledge, skills and professional credibility target should consider PRINCE2 certification.  Learning Tree offers two excellent certification courses for folks interested in becoming a Certified Practitioner of PRINCE2 or simply starting with the Foundation Certification.

Susan Weese

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