Wilmont’s is three months into a major project, and the individual who had been in the role of project manager information systems left suddenly, leaving the project in jeopardy. You have been hired by James Connor, CIO, to take over the role of project manager to lead the information-systems component needed for the project (as outlined in the following: Monitor Project Status Case Study).
The three major issues of concern are:
Managers at both organizations are complaining about not getting accurate and timely information on the progress of the project. The reports they are receiving are not provided on a regular basis and contain incomplete or inconsistent information. There is also no consistency in the format. Some information is conveyed in a meeting or in a phone call, some receive informal email communications, and still others receive written reports in memo format.
The project team complains that while they have regular project status meetings, there is never an agenda and they only occasionally receive minutes documenting what was agreed to in the meeting.
Programmers working on the required software code development are complaining about the number changes they are being asked to make. Requests are being made by phone, email, or informal discussions. While they admit that many of the requests are worthy of consideration, there does not seem to be any control over this process and they are beginning to fear that these ad hoc requests will delay project completion.
In your interview, Mr. Connor explained these problems. In response, you explained best practices in project management and how completing a stakeholder analysis, having a formal communications plan, and having a change management plan in place eliminates these types of problems. Mr. Connor stated he was not aware that these documents had been created for the information systems component of the project. He hires you on the spot, expecting you to follow through, create these documents, and bring the project under control. You will create a stakeholder analysis matrix, communications management plan, and change management plan for this project.
Mr. Connor is looking forward to receiving your documents to help get the project running smoothly. As such, he would like you to complete the following:
Stakeholder Analysis Matrix: For this matrix, choose at least five stakeholders or stakeholder groups. For example, you could choose an individual from the Monitor Project Status case study, or you could choose a group of people, such as store managers. Once you’ve selected at least five, you must complete the following:
Introduction: Briefly explain the purpose and importance of creating a stakeholder analysis matrix. Be sure to refer to the scenario, and explain how this will address one or more of the current project problems.
Power/Interest Grid: Create one power/interest grid with all of the stakeholders that you selected. Plot each stakeholder or group of stakeholders based on their power and interest. From this grid, you will also learn the communications approach to take, which is an important part of the stakeholder communications matrix.
Communications Matrix: Your communications matrix should be a completed table that includes each of your stakeholders along the rows and the following columns: name, communications approach (from the power/interest grid), key interests and issues, desired level of support (this can be a number from one to five), and actions to address. Each column should have a brief description.
Communications Management Plan: Your communications management plan must include the following:
Introduction and Communications Management Approach: Briefly explain the purpose and importance of creating a communications management plan. Consider your overall approach for communications management with this particular project and summarize it here. Be sure to refer to the scenario and explain how this will address one or more of the current project problems.
Briefly provide answers to the following questions:
What information will be distributed? How will information be distributed? When will information be distributed? To whom will the information be distributed? What potential communications constraints exist?
Communication Tables: As part of your plan, you will include the following two tables:
Communication Matrix: Create a table with the following columns: communication type, objective of communication, communication method (face-to-face, email, etc.), frequency, audience (i.e., who will attend?), and deliverables (e.g., Will meeting minutes be sent out? Will there be an agenda? etc.). You may include as many communication types as you want, but must include at least five. Some examples include a kickoff meeting, team meetings, executive leadership meetings, status updates, and so on.
Communication Escalation Table: Create a table with the following columns: priority, definition, decision authority, and timeframe for resolution. You may include as many priority levels as you want, but must include at least three, with the first being the highest priority.
Project Status Report: Standardizing communication is critical. You will include a project status report sample template in your communication plan. Be sure to include all critical elements of a project status report and a brief rationale for what you’ve included in your sample template.
Guidelines for Meetings: Along with the reporting, meetings are another significant method of communication.
Create a list of general guidelines for meetings, accompanied by a sample template of each of the following:
Meeting Agenda: Create a meeting agenda sample template that you will use and follow for all future project meetings. Consider project management best practices as you create the template.
Meeting Minutes: Create a meeting minutes sample template that you will use and follow for all future project meetings. Consider project management best practices as you create the template.
Change Management Plan: Your change management plan must include the following:
Introduction and Change Management Approach: Briefly explain the purpose and importance of creating a change management plan. Consider your overall approach for change management with this particular project and summarize it here. Be sure to refer to the scenario and explain how this will address one or more of the current project problems.
Definitions of Change: You should also consider the definitions of the different types of change that may be requested. For instance, might there be changes to the schedule, budget, scope, and so on? How might these changes impact the project?
Proposed Change Control Process: Describe the proposed change control process from start to finish using numbered steps. The change control process should be a repeatable process for future projects. It should begin with the requested change, then conclude with the implementation or denial of the change.
Roles and Responsibilities: In this section, describe the roles and responsibilities for each of the following groups: project sponsor, project manager, and project team/stakeholders (those requesting changes). You may use a bulleted list with key points.
Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:
Stakeholder Analysis Matrix
You will create a 250- to 500-word stakeholder analysis matrix that identifies and analyzes the needs of key stakeholders for this project.
Communications Management Plan
You will create a 500- to 750-word communications management plan that defines who needs communication about the project, who is responsible for communication distribution, and how and how often information will be distributed.
Change Management Plan
You will create a 500- to 750-word change management plan that manages the change process while also ensuring that scope, resources, schedule, and budget is controlled. The intent is to minimize the impact of changes such as those described in the scenario.