Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project Management 6145 Week 3-Communicating Effectively

Okay so I actually have it together this week and have my blog completed on time!  Kudos to me for getting it together J

So this week we have an interesting assignment regarding “how you communicate with different stakeholders is of equal importance to what you communicate and can influence how your message is interpreted”.

As you know I like to outline the assignment for you so you know what I’m talking about, here it is:
To prepare for this assignment, view the multimedia program "The Art of Effective Communication." In this program, you will observe a piece of communication in three different modalities: as written text, as audio, and as video. Pause after receiving the communication in each modality, and reflect upon what you interpret the message to mean. Think about the content and tone of the message. Record your interpretation of the message after receiving it in each modality. Then reflect upon the experience by considering the following:
  • How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?
  • What factors influenced how you perceived the message?
  • Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?
  • What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?

 Post your interpretation of the message as it was delivered in each of the different modalities, pointing out what, if anything, changed about your interpretation from one modality to the next. What did you learn that will help you communicate more effectively with others in the future?

“Communication is not just words” (Stolovitch, n.d.), this is a very important anecdote to remember when communicating with others. Effective communication is influenced by:
All of these items can directly influence how your message is transmitted and ultimately received by your listeners.  How often have we heard “that’s what I said, but that’s not what I meant?”

Overall I did not feel the message was misconstrued among the different modalities as the words, tones, and body language all synced up for the most part. However I definitely understand how in a different context this could be very, very different. The use of the capitalized acronym “ETA” in the email could be considered yelling, the tone in the voicemail could convey anger, annoyance, and frustration, or the crossed-arm body language of the face-to-face discussion should lead to a heated argument. 


Stolovitch, H (n.d.). Communicating with Stakeholders.  [Video] Available: Laureate Education, Inc.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Project Management 6145 Week 2-Learning from a Project Post-Mortem

Greetings All,

Well I am definitely a person deeply rooted in pattern and routine…as a result of assuming my blog had our “typical” due date of Sunday I am totally late with this posting.  Alas, it’s a lesson learned and one that I will not repeat next week…moving on J

This week, as the blog title eludes too, is learning from a project post mortem.  It’s nowhere near as dreadful as it sounds, it’s simply a “way to learn best practices and avoid mistakes on a future project [by] review[ing] the results and activities from a project that you have completed”. Outlined below is the assignment as provided by our professor:

To prepare for this assignment, recall a project that you worked on in the past, either personal or professional, that was not successful or did not result in the desired outcomes. You may be creative and use an example from your personal life that may not relate to your job. Using the Project “Post Mortem” Review Questions found on pages 42–43 of The Project Management Minimalist, recall your experience with the project and jot down answers to as many of the questions as you can (you do not need to submit these responses). Then, reflect on the following:
  • What processes, project artifacts, or activities did you include in the project that contributed to its success?
  • What processes, project artifacts, or activities did you not include in the project that might have made the project more successful?

Hopefully everyone is familiar with this document, if not I have hyperlinked a copy using Google docs for your reference.

The project that I commonly refer to is one with my previous employer, and I was the project lead.  Sadly and incidentally, it is a perfect example of almost everything NOT to do on a project. As I’ve mentioned in several class discussions, the project was the conversion of an in-person training course to an online format to be deployed overseas.

Contributions to Project Success:
The one activity that I feel I did a good job on (and I had control of) was my communication with my team.  As the lead, I stayed in constant communication with my manager regarding the status of the project, as well as my team regarding the status of their tasks. I utilized emails, in-person meetings, as well as conference calls to make sure we were all on the same page.  I also effectively communicated with the client regarding our status on the project and our timeline for completion of specific tasks.

Room for Improvement:
Aside from the client and their differing visions for the project, there were several things that we as a team could have done differently.  A key factor is in training and familiarizing the team with the ADDIE model. Due to the client, and our lack of formal training, the project was never rooted in grounded principles.  For example learner analysis was not performed, objectives were not specified in the manner in which they should have been, there was little time given to truly analyze, design, develop, implement, or evaluate the project.

An important factor that Dr. Stolovitch provided for successful id projects, is the let the instructional design process guide the work.  I feel this factor was missing from the beginning that caused a already volatile project to be more stressful than need be.

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. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Project Management

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my page and the continuation of my Walden University adventure in a M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology!

After an entirely too short break I'm back in class and this portion of the semester will be spent on Project Management in Instructional Design.  We're definitely getting to the serious, nitty-gritty, portion of the degree program now.

I'm definitely interested in learning as much as I can so that I can hopefully avoid many of the pitfalls I've seen in project management-I'm sure you know what I mean ;-)
Seriously though, as an instructional designer we are often expected to also be a project manager of our portion; but sometimes the overall project itself.

I'm hoping that after this course is over I will be motivated to purse a PMP or CAPM certification...or maybe I'll be smart and weight until I'm closer to the completion of this program before I start another project.

Again, thanks for following me and I hope that we learn a lot from one another this semester