Sunday, January 28, 2007

Project Management communication tips for Offshoring projects

Hi, I am a person, and if you are sitting there reading this post, its because you are probably a person too. Think about it for a second, you are reading something that maybe is relevant for you in some way, or maybe it isn't but you are taking a few seconds on it.

What about if I am a project Manager and you are my client?, I'm sure I have a lot of fresh news and information that you will be interested in, so its crystal clear that its my duty to keep you informed with the schedule updates, and the status of all deliverables of our project.

Offshoring projects

So, the thing here is going to be more complicated when you are at your office and you are the responsible for the project inside your company, so you are the face of the project for the whole company!, and I am sitting here with my project team members thousands kilometres away, across hundreds of mountains and rivers.
At this point I call this situation a project BLIND Execution. You have to wait for my updates and read my e-mails to understand the situation of your project, in this scenario i have been thinking in some key concepts to keep a good ongoing communication for you, as Project Manager, and it works, no matter the Project management methodology that you are using, it works, or at least it works for me.

Communication TIPS

Timeline visibility : keep your client updated with the whole picture, if there is a minimal gap in the timeline, communicate it as fast as you can. it will save future head pains.

Stay connected: don't let your client feel that you are lost. You could use, MSN, Skype, Cell phone, Nextel or whatever you like.

Checkpoints: you have to schedule conference calls with your client on a weekly basis, its a formal revision checkpoint with a previous predefined agenda. don't forget to send a formal document with the agreements after this meeting!

A Team: You have a team working with you, its your duty to get your client to know the team, otherwise, the client will not see your team efforts, and he could think that your resources are really ghosts.

Fullfill your oath: you are far away from your client, he needs to trust you, so this is really important if you want to get a success project done.You have to fullfill your commitment, and you have to get your timeline done in the dates you have said before. its not negotiable unless project scope changes.

Over communicate: always remember that its better to send an e-mail twice, rather than don't send anything. Think about all the data your client will need.

I hope this post helps you in your daily work, it works for me and my colleagues in the way to success for most cross country projects with different cultures involved.

1 comment:

eve said...

I agree, communication is important for a successful project. Most important is that you are using some type of project management methodology such as the one produced by MPMM.