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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Communicating Effectively

This assignment consisted of reviewing three methods of communicating a message to someone and provide my interpretation and assessment of each one of them. I have highlighted below my assessment and opinion of each method of communication.

Email

When I first read the email I saw it as a person concerned that she won’t be able to do her report and not meet her deadline since she is dependent on Marks data.  This is the emotional tone I got as I read the email.  The problem with communicating through emails is that the tone of an email is left to the interpretation of the reader and we don’t really know how the sender really feels or the urgency of their message since they are not in front of us so we can view their body language and hear their tone of voice. The other problem with email is that there is no guarantee that the receiver saw your message and that it got to them.  Even if the sender puts in a delivery and read receipt it still does not guarantee the receiver got the message since it could have easily wound up in their junk box.

Voicemail

Hearing the same message as a voicemail I still got the same sense as that of the email which was a person concerned that she won’t meet her deadline due to being dependent on Marks information. Voicemail is another form of communication that can be misleading since once again the message is left on the interpretation of the receiver. It is still difficult to get a read on a person just by listening to their voice without having a visual. For example, I am from New York City and most people from the city talk loud (probably do to all the noise around the city) and fast. This could be interpreted by someone as me being mad because I am speaking in a loud tone but that is just my natural way of speaking. You couldn’t tell if I was mad or not unless you actually got a visual where you got to see my body language.  

Face-to-Face

During the face-to-face delivery of the message I got to see Jane’s concern upfront.  In addition to the concern in her voice, I got to see the seriousness in her face when she spoke. I also noticed the hand movement and the constant rise of her eyebrows as she spoke which told me she was a little anxious about not receiving the data yet that she needs. Communication works best face-to-face since you are using two or more of your senses to register the message. Not only can you hear the emotional tone in a person but you also get visual cues from the body language telling you the importance of the message.  

 The most important thing I got from this assignment is that if something is important, the best communication approach to take is to see the person face to face to ensure that there is no miscommunication or bad interpretation of the message you’re trying to convey.  Dr. Stolovitch states in his video that you should always document the outcome of all meetings (Laureate Education, n.d.). After the face to face meeting you should document it and send the receiver meeting minutes to remind them on what was discussed and of any agreements.

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (n.d.).  Video 3, “Project Management Concerns: Communication Strategies and Organizational Culture” with Dr. Stolovitch [Video Webcast]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_4775280_1%26url%3D

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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Lessons Learned from a Project Post-Mortem

According to Greer (2010), it is important for project managers and their team to look back at the end of their project and make a list of lessons learned so that they don’t’ repeat them. Reflecting on what went wrong on projects after they are completed is usually the best way to learn and research solutions so that they don’t reoccur on future projects.

Back when I worked at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy as a course developer, we were tasked by leadership to develop an aircraft maintenance quality assurance course for our Latin American clients. Leadership got the idea from a visit they did to Colombia which was our biggest customer. The Colombian Air Force wanted some of their supervisors to receive aircraft maintenance quality assurance training so they can be able to better inspect completed maintenance tasks on airplanes. Leadership came to us and wanted us to have a quality assurance course ready to be taught by the end of the year so they gave us four months to get it developed. They also went to our registrar and had the course advertised for the end of the year. We tried to convince leadership that four months was to short of a time frame since it takes on average about eight to twelve months to develop a course. Since we had such a short suspense to get the course finished we decided to take the quality assurance course that we already had for in our regular Air Force and scrub it down to what we think was needed by our Latin American clients. We then took what we put together and converted it to Spanish. During those 4 months we did a rush job of putting together instructor material, student study guides, course exams, and performance type of evaluations. After the course was finished we realized that first we never got a classroom for the course and none of the resources for the classroom needed to teach the course was never ordered such as computers, desks, chairs and other pertinent equipment needed to teach aircraft quality assurance. The second thing was that we had no instructor prepped to teach aircraft quality assurance. Those items were also rushed and we wound up getting a classroom, all course resources and a somewhat qualified instructor one day prior to the class start date. The course wound up being a one hit wonder that was taught one time to students from Colombia and we never got any students from any other Latin American countries. This project wound up being a waste of resources and money to develop since the course wound up being discontinued after 3 yrs in our catalog and no one requesting it.

When we reflected on this project we learned lots of things. Our textbook mentions the conceive phase when planning a project and it asks that the project manager consider the following to questions: Can the project be done? Should the project be done? (Portney, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008) First no analysis or feasibility assessment was ever conducted by anybody to determine if this project was worth doing. This entire project was pretty much a rush job to satisfy a requirement given to us by leadership. If a needs assessment would have been conducted we would have discovered that no other Latin American country besides Colombia wanted an aircraft quality assurance course. Further analysis would have discovered that Colombia only had 15 personnel that required such a course and it would have not been worth wasting time and resources to develop. If leaderships still wanted us to continue developing the course then an analysis would have also given us the needs of at least what Colombia required and we could have developed realistic objectives to meet those needs instead of choosing objectives based on assumptions from an already built course. Another thing we realized was that leadership had no clue on how courses are developed and how long it takes to develop one all the way through implementation. This meant opening better communication with them and educating them on the process of how courses are developed. If leadership would have been familiar with the process to develop a course, they would have given us the time to develop it correctly and not advertise to our customers a course that did not exist yet. Planning includes specifying results to be achieved, determining schedules, and estimating resources required (Portney,et al., 2008). Our project manager who was also a instructional designer never really built a plan or milestones to develop this course and we just took an older course and modified it without an in depth plan that would take us through implementation. This is probably why we missed getting a classroom and resources for the course as well as getting a qualified instructor to teach it.    

Following a project management process is essential to identify the requirements of a project. It can provide you key information to let you know whether to proceed with a project or not as well as proof when communicating with leadership. It can also provide you with a plan to keep your project on track and from failing.   

  

Reference

Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just enough PM to rock your projects! (Laureate custom ed.). Baltimore: Laureate Education, Inc.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized