Communication and Meeting Management
This chapter covers the following topics:
Assess Methods of Communication: Understanding synchronous and asynchronous, written and verbal, formal and informal, and external and internal communication
Develop Communication Platforms/Modalities: Considering communication types (status updates, issues, and so on), methods/platforms (email and dashboards), and recipients (project manager, team lead, and team member)
Manage Project Communication: Overcoming communication challenges, language barriers, time zones/geographical factors, technological factors, and cultural differences, maintaining the integrity and security of communication records, and archiving
Control Project Communication: Escalating communication issues and revising the communication plan
Meeting Roles: Understanding facilitators, scribes, and attendees/target audiences
Meeting Tools: Understanding the benefits of agenda setting/publishing, timeboxing, action items, meeting minutes, and follow-ups
Meeting Types: Includes collaborative meetings (workshops, focus groups, joint application development/joint application review sessions, and brainstorming), informative meetings (demonstrations/presentations, stand-ups, and status meetings), and decisive meetings (refinement, task setting, and project steering committee meetings)
Communication is the lifeblood of project work; in fact, Project Management Institute (PMI) has estimated that project managers spend 90% of their working time in communication. For this reason, the ability to facilitate effective, efficient communication is one of the most important skills the project manager can have. In addition, communication technologies must be chosen carefully based on the needs of the stakeholders. Factors that can affect the choice of a communication technology include how urgently the information is needed, the availability of a communication technology, its ease of use, the project environment, and the sensitivity or confidentiality of the information.
Communication is formally governed by the communication plan, the escalation plan, the stakeholder engagement plan, and the records management plan. Because CompTIA considers communication development a crucial part of project planning, these plans are covered in Chapter 9, “Project Life Cycles, Discovery/Concept Preparation Phase, and Initiating Phase Activities,” and Chapter 10, “Planning Phase Activities.” For the purposes of this chapter, you only need to know that the communication plan lists the tempo, format, and channels for distributing project information throughout the project’s Executing and Closing phases. The project manager is responsible for knowing when and how involved parties should be kept in the loop and how records should be maintained.
This chapter also covers the various communication factors and modes, common challenges to team communication, and the purposes of meeting-specific roles. Finally, it discusses the three main categories of project meetings, their target audiences, and their intended outcomes and purposes.
This chapter covers the following objectives for the CompTIA Project+ exam:
1.8 Compare and contrast communication management concepts.
1.9 Given a scenario, apply effective meeting management techniques.
“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz
The “Do I Know This Already?” quiz allows you to assess whether you should read this entire chapter thoroughly or jump to the “Exam Preparation Tasks” section. If you are in doubt about your answers to these questions or your own assessment of your knowledge of the topics, read the entire chapter. Table 7-1 lists the major headings in this chapter and their corresponding “Do I Know This Already?” quiz questions. You can find the answers in Appendix A, “Answers to the ‘Do I Know This Already?’ Questions and Review Quizzes.”
Table 7-1 “Do I Know This Already?” Section-to-Question Mapping
Foundation Topics Section
Assess Methods of Communication
Develop Communication Platforms/Modalities
Manage Project Communication
Control Project Communication
What is considered the most effective method of communication?
You are hired to take over an active project. Based on the previous project manager’s notes, you are concerned about conflict between two team members. What is the best method of determining whether the team members can successfully communicate without impeding project work?
Hold separate face-to-face meetings with each of the team members.
Hold a single face-to-face meeting with both team members.
Send an email to each of the team members.
Hold a single virtual meeting with both team members.
Carefully observe how the team members interact during meetings.
Which tasks would a project manager perform when developing communication platforms for the project? (Choose all that apply.)
Purchase a new enterprise license for a chat application.
Establish internal communication accounts for external contractors.
Tailor the platform to the needs of the project.
Secure the credentials for the social media account used for project communication.
All members of a virtual project team speak the same language but live in various areas around the world. What are the two most likely communication issues the team will need to address?
Language barriers and cultural differences
Geographical factors and cultural differences
Language barriers and geographical factors
Geographical factors and personal preferences
A project manager is struggling to find an acceptable time for international team members to have a video conference. Scheduling the meeting at 1:00 p.m. EST might allow London team members to join (6:00 p.m. GMT) but would exclude New Delhi team members by falling at 11:30 p.m. IST. Which communication challenge must be resolved?
Time zone factors
The application your project is designing will have several proprietary features that must be protected. A stakeholder has requested access to a report that includes confidential development information, but they are not approved to receive it. What should you do?
Consult with the project sponsor to verify that the stakeholder needs the information.
Deny the stakeholder’s request.
Grant the stakeholder access and note the change in the communication plan.
Give the stakeholder a redacted copy of the report, removing the confidential data.
A business analyst frequently drops by your team member’s office to convey the customer’s questions about the project. As a result, the team member stops work and spends time researching answers that she does not immediately have. What would help her stay on task with fewer interruptions? (Choose two.)
Stakeholder engagement plan
Which project document or artifact is created by the meeting’s scribe?
Some speakers linger too long over their topics in the weekly status meeting and do not leave enough time for the final Q&A session. What would ensure the full agenda is covered in a meeting?
Which meeting type would describe a daily stand-up?
Which type of meeting would not be used to capture new product requirements from attendees?