Welcome to Training and Development EDIT 6501. This is my blog spot for all the required discussion and assignment completion for this course. Feel free to share your knowledge, thoughts, opinion and suggestions as we learn together. I look forward to read from you.
“What we see and hear from each other is
only the tip of the iceberg. Lying underneath the waterline of our words and
actions is a much fuller, richer set of information”. Strider, (2002) Communication in
project management cannot be overemphasized.
In general, people communicate through a variety of means but are the
communication effective? Projects are
conceived with excellent plan, hoping for a desired outcome often fails,
because of inappropriate communication strategies. This blog discusses a piece of communication
in various modalities.
How did your interpretation of the message
change from one modality to the next?
As an Email (written
The email is direct. The message implies Jane, pleading to
Mark to get his part of the project done to enable her move forward. She appears desperate, by the choice words
used to request for the report, but failed to mention exactly when she needs
the report. As noted by Stolovitch, (n.d.) “Effective communication is
influenced by the spirit and attitude, tonality and body language, timing and
personality of the recipient”. Though,
the email was a written text, it was obvious to note the spirit and attitude of
As a Voice Message (Audio)
This voice message presented an interesting version of the
message. The speaker voice was cautious, calm and directly expressed purpose of
the communication. The voice reflected a friendly reminder to Mark about the ETA report. The
voice message reflected a level of familiarities between the speaker and the
receiver. The speaker (Jane) knew Mark’s schedule, and was considerate by referring to his busy
day, somewhat empathizing with him, and
hoping that Mark could find some time to get
back to the much needed report.
As a face-2-face
communication (Video cast)
During the f2f conversation, the presence of the speaker
made a difference in the way I received the message. Looking at her face,
listening to her, reading her facial expression, her lips movement, the tone of
her voice impacted the way I received the message. Though, she was demanding an
answer, she was respectful and ended her conversation with a smile. Depending
on the relationship between the two parties the smile could be identified as a heartening
gesture, or could be a distracter. Stolovitch, (n.d) cautions on communicators
“to avoid ambiguity” This may be perceived as lack of seriousness in the
content of the message.
What factors influenced how you perceived the
Judging from what I wrote earlier on the written text, and
what just occurred in the voice message, and f2f communication, the speaker in
all the scenarios is attempting to get work done and get results. She may need
to use the approach described by Budrovich (n.d) “Tailor your
communication strategy to fit the specific needs of each stakeholder”. In reality, I do not think that the speaker
should use all the three or more methods to get her point across. Instead, her
ability to recognize Mark’s communication preference will make it easy to
tailor her communication to get the outcome.
Other factors that of influence how a message is perceived
are values, noise, perception, encoding, beliefs,
decoding, length of conversation, repetition, past experiences and expectations.
This could occur both ways. Considering cultural backgrounds when communicating during a
project is an important factor nowadays, due to technological advancement, and
diversity in the workplace.
Which form of communication best conveyed the
true meaning and intent of the message?
This is a
subjective question, because as learner’s we are motivated to react to a piece
of the information base on a number of reasons.
One major gap is that people have different preferences and approaches
to “what constitute effective communication”. For example, being an auditory,
visual or kinesthetic learner may influence your perception, orientation to
details and what you want in a communication. This
is because; different channels of information could determine the strengths and
weaknesses of communication in question.
In the sample, provided
f2f (video cast) communication seems to make the most sense in my opinion. Knowing that Mark is extremely busy with
other responsibilities, there is a possibility Mark might not check his voice
message. Considering the email, Mark might not be at his desk to read it. Going to Mark and discussing the need as
demonstrated in the video cast could increase the possibility of getting an
answer sooner. If the two have a positive working relationship, it works even
What are the implications of what you learned
from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project
Communication must be
planned, coordinated, managed and reported between the team and the project
leader. When working on any project, each member is responsible to, and
accountable for discussing the progress of the project to other members as
assigned. Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, and Kramer. (2008) Noted
that “PM should consider providing project progress reports to supervisors,
upper management, the client or customer, project team members, others who are
helping on the project, and others who are affected by the project results.”
In organization setting, communication takes different shapes and
forms. Stolovitch, (n.d) states that
standard of communication with clients should address the following;
Response to time frames.
Form of oral / written communication.
Establish rules of participation and
Avoid an ambiguity.
As I process the
instruction in the exercise” The Art of Effective Communication’ I recognized that
some of my responses is based on my own perception, limitation, and
assumptions. To succeed in any projects,
all the assumptions and constrained must be discussed prior to or as situation
arises. Portny et.al. (2008) States that
“PM must consider project assumptions when they develop their project risk
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M.,
Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008).
Project Management: Planning, scheduling, and
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Laureate Education, Inc. (n.d.). Project Management Concerns:
Communication Strategies and
I recalled a team project titled “Training Steering Committee” This event
took place at work about four years ago. The memory lived with me till today. Little
did I know about IDT/ PM at that time? The idea was brilliant. It was initiated
by the Director of training, my supervisor. The purpose was to “Change the organization”
by doing the following.
a. Develop adjunct facilitator’s for recurrent training due
to agency expansion.
b. Revise agency orientation for new hires.
c. Revise existing and create a new agency policy on
d. Develop advance courses for clinical professional s in
The director identified samples of employees
from across the entire organization for representation. The response was quite
compelling at the first few meetings, but the director did not use a Project
Management approach. Murphy, (1994). The benefit of using a formal project a
management approach is that needed expertise within the corporation can be
identified and allocated to ensure that project accomplishes its goals”.
The director consulted with the agency CEO, who was in
support of the project, but the director failed to notify his immediate
supervisor, director of Human Resources who holds the ultimate decision about
the project. The identified members were
notified. There was an elaborate kick off meeting. At the meeting, the members
were presented with the purpose of the gathering. The members were pleased to
be part of the needed change.
During the meeting,
members volunteered to function as leaders and supporters of the sub groups.
Other employees present were unwilling to participate because they were unsure
about the need for all the work to be done. Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer,
Sutton, and Kramer (2008) state “the project manager must take the initiative
to figure out what the real needs are”. In addition, the leader should be able
to explain the origin of the need. Not just an intention to change the organization.
The rest of the meeting turned to an opportunity to praise the leader of the
project for the brilliant ideas.
There were four different sub-groups representing the four
purposes of the committee. Each of them was assigned to work on the subtitles
and produce a procedure, a policy, a new curriculum at the end of the project. The details of the deliverables, timelines,
and outcomes were discussed by each sub group at subsequent meetings as that
was not discussed at the kick off meeting. Level of commitment was vague after the first
general meeting. The resulted in role changes from one meeting to the other.
In some meetings, the
number of employees in attendance determines the assigned roles. The process became a nightmare. Meanwhile, there was no statement of work
from each of the assigned subgroup. The
work breakdown was created as seen feasible by each group. They group were not
reporting to anyone for supervision during the work stages. At the end of the project, a lot of
unpredictable troubled challenges emerged.
Members of this committee were being penalized
for abandoning their primary responsibilities because the idea was not
presented for approval in the first place. Greer (2010) States “the project
manager must define the project concept clearly enough so that he can get
support from the key people in the organization”.
A number of documents were developed i.e.
Adjunct facilitator’s process. Revised agency orientation, training policies,
and couple advanced curriculum were developed by personnel with no IDT skills. None
of the draft documents was approved.
The committee was informed that no single
committee can create or revise agency policies without formal approval of the
board members. According to Suchan, J. (2007). “Ability to get buy-ins from the
entire stakeholder will help you accomplish the project goals by reducing
project cycle, and streamline the approval process”.
The Project leader was asked to dissolve the
project and the members. Portny, et. al., (2008) identified three basic
activities in project management. Planning, Organizing, and controlling. With
what I know today, I cannot recall a serious level of planning during the
process. It was an excellent thought, and he sped to action which ultimately
ended in lack of implementation.
The project had a kick off meeting, but the
meeting did not spell out the roles and responsibilities, clarify deliverable
and time lines, identify members commitment. The project was ongoing for about
two years before it ended.
At the time of this event, I was new to the organization.
Because of my role, I have less knowledge about the procedures of operation,
though; I was in support of my director of training. Based on what I have learned in the previous
courses about organization leadership, functions and operation, I know that the
director took a number of personal decisions because he has worked there
longer, he has very excellent people skills, and could persuade his peers to see things his
way. I will also like to add that, the procedures of initiating an idea were
not clearly stated as what we have now.
The process was an eye opener for the organization. From the
crooked foundation laid by the director of training, the organization
experienced major expansion in the past two years. Some of the ideas generated
by the committee are currently revised, and presented to initiate the change
The director was able to create a strong, cohesive team to
work on the project, but the communication amongst the team was ineffective
because of lack of supervision.
The agency will start a new hire orientation curriculum in
There are 39 adjunct facilitators across the organization. I
am currently leading the project on adjuncts.
Currently the organization have policy and procedure committee that are
devoted to revising old policies and create new ones as needed based on
Employees in need of advance courses or CEU’s credits are
being supported to accomplish the goals outside of the organization.
Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just
enough PM to rock your projects! (LaureateCustom Ed.). Baltimore: Laureate
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 &