This post from @IncentIntel is timely as we head into silly season: performance and rewards time. I especially liked the two below; communications about incentives are too often treated as a “once and done” event:
3. If the award is valuable enough you don’t need to communicate and remind them of the award opportunity.
5. Top performers don’t need to be reminded of where they stand in the program.
We all should know how critical project communication is to project success. A compelling story can build strong sponsorship and sustain stakeholder commitment, even in the most challenging of circumstances (also see Michael Krigsman’s project success checklist) . However, many project managers assume that their audiences — or even worse, key influencers and “re-communicators” — understand the story as well as they do.
The group blog at BlissPR has a useful post by Julie Johnson on “Getting the Details Right“. I’ve often suggested that project managers leverage what their PR professionals more. IMO, the ability to influence is an essential behavior for an initiative leader. Why not listen and learn from people who know?
In this case, the lessons for driving accurate press coverage apply well to any project that needs to own and drive its story. Simply substitute “project” for “company” or “industry”, and “stakeholders” for “media”.
- It’s more important than ever for a company to take control of its reputation – after all, you either control your reputation or someone else will
- Educating media about a company or an industry can be even more important than garnering coverage
- The story you tell must be simple – especially when the truth is complicated
My post on best and worst project names remains one of my most popular. As a follow up, here’s a few more good and not-so-good names:
Sunrise was the name of the project that separated our IT systems and infrastructure from our former corporate parent. IMO it was an excellent name because a sunrise is the tangible start of a “new day”, which the projected provided for our company.
[Company Name] 2001 was a common turn of the millenium project name, but one that didn’t wear well. For example, many of these projects didn’t finish in 2001, as global rollouts continued on for several years. Many colleagues felt silly trying to wrap up “2001” in “2004”. If you’re going to “date” a project, then make sure your plan doesn’t run past that date.
Phoenix sounds cool, but it should be used carefully. It isn’t just a myth of renewal, but a Continue reading
I saw a great post by Ron Ashkenas on how controls create complexity. We’ve been struggling with this issue in our transformation program. We have put stronger controls and more frequent communications in place. However, these controls and communications shouldn’t create double or triple work.
Askkenas captures what drives these issues in his opening paragraph:
Have you ever noticed that organizations are great at creating controls and policies to prevent incidents that have already happened? Once the proverbial cow escapes the barn, they adeptly make sure it won’t happen again by, say, authorizing only certain people to man the exit and constructing barn-door status reports.
Sometimes this needs to happen and usually it is straightforward to figure out what a “new normal” approach should look like. But the rest of the program or business can get left behind and needs to be brought along to the new reports. There is nothing more frustrating than reconciling “old program” status reports to the “new project” control paradigm.
Communications practices are a gold mine for the troubled project prospector.
Another sign that a project is headed for trouble is another communication quirk: discussions aren’t reflected in any documented issue, action, risk, deliverable, etc. The most familiar example is a colleague who can always “fill in the details” on a topic during the discussion, but never seems to have the details at hand.
You might as well tell me: “Dig here… plenty of goodies buried in this team, project, etc!”