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Managing BPI Projects - Communicating with the Project Team

Determining early in your project how you will communicate with the project team and how the project team will communicate with each other is absolutely essential to ensure the project stays on track.

While team meetings are essential, they are unlikely to be sufficient for business process improvement (BPI) projects; especially more complex ones. It is necessary to have a number of communication channels and to be sure the team knows about these channels and how and when they will be used. This is especially important for virtual project teams.

On one BPI project that involved over 35 team members (extended team) from across the United States, we decided early on in our first team meeting (when we all got together at the client’s headquarters in NYC) to communicate as follows:

WHO

WHAT

WHEN

HOW

Team leads with project manager

Check in on status of team leads’ direct reports working on project tasks, problem solve issues, discuss project strategy.

Bi-weekly

Conference call

Team leads with direct reports

Update on tasks being completed, raise issues with team leads, share upcoming assignments (2 weeks out).

Weekly

Virtual session

Ad-hoc sub-teams

Problem solve major issues on the project.

As needed

Face-to-face at headquarters

Extended project team (team leads, direct reports)

Check in meeting, share information between project teams, project status overview.

Monthly

In person at headquarters

Vendors with team leads and project managers

Vendor specific discussions/problems to be solved.

Bi-weekly (alternating weeks from meeting with team leads and project manager)

Conference call

All team members

Project documentation, team directory, meeting minutes, upcoming meetings, SOWs from vendors and other information related to the project.

24/7 access

Project SharePoint site

While we didn’t want to have too many meetings on the calendar, we also realized that we needed regular meetings to keep on top of the project which was quite complex. By scheduling the meetings early on in everyone’s calendar, we were able to ensure that we had good attendance at the meetings and team members were participating.

The meeting schedule was developed with the entire extended team that attended that initial kick off meeting at the company headquarters. By getting everyone involved in the discussion and agreeing on the types and frequency of meetings, we were able to increase commitment to the meetings and to the project. Team members felt involved right from the start.

In our next article, we’ll discuss communications with stakeholders and the sponsor/executive team.

Want to learn more? Check out our book, Best Practices for Managing BPI Projects: Six Steps to Success. Order your copy today!

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