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To complete the project communications plan, the project manager and team must determine how and when the required information will be provided to the various stakeholders. Although a variety of media exist, most communication will involve:

• Face-to-Face Meetings—A great deal can be learned from face-to-face meetings. Such meetings may range from informal conversations to more formal meetings and presentations. The advantage of face-to-face meetings is that one can see other people's expressions and body language. Sometimes the way someone says something can be more expressive than what they say. On the other hand, face-to-face meetings require arranging schedules and additional costs if travel is involved. Certain issues and prob lems, of course, require people to meet face-to-face. For example, firing (or dehiring?) a person should only be done face-to-face. There are a number of war stories in the business world about people who found out they were let go by e-mail. The general consensus is that this is an insensitive and tactless way to treat people.

• Telephone, Electronic Mail, and other Wireless Devices—It appears that we are in the midst of a wireless and mobile revolution. Cellular phones,

Figure 9.7 Project Report Categories

pagers, and other wireless devices are commonplace and have increased our mobility and accessibility. Although these communication devices are not as personal as face-to-face meetings, they certainly make communication possible when people cannot be at the same place at the same time. The communications plan (and project budget) should also include electronic means for the project team and other stakeholders to communicate. Collaboration Technology—There are a variety of information technology tools to support communication and collaboration. For example, a project team could use Internet or Web-based technologies to develop an Internet, intranet, or extranet application. The difference between Internet, intranet, or extranet really depends on who has access to the information stored on the server. For example, an Internet application would be available to anyone who has access to the World Wide Web or Internet. An intranet, on the other hand, may be developed using the same technology, but access is limited to the project team by means of passwords or firewalls. An extranet may include others outside the immediate project team or organization, such as the project sponsor or client. Similar to an intranet, access may be limited through the use of passwords or firewalls. Figure 9.8 provides an example of an extranet application developed by several

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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