October 24, 2014

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

How to achieve Customer Satisfaction with Project Communications Management

Project Communications Management Case Study

While I was an IT project manager at a corporate insurance company, we were approached for a printing solution that would provide:   Project Communications best practices for Project Delivery

  • improved network printing performance,
  • 100% uptime and
  • failover (setup of 2 servers, if one server fails, the other server takes over) in order for the printing service to be always available.

The solution that we proposed was too expensive. It would involve procurement of expensive hardware and software and the customer didn’t have enough budget provision.

Accepted printing solution

We then proposed a scaled down customized solution, using existing hardware and software with some upgrade to RAM and disc space and a different architecture design. This proposal was accepted by the customer and the project could start.

Initially it was estimated to be a 3-month project, but it took 5 months to complete due to many unforeseen problems. Even though this was one of my troubled projects, I managed to have a satisfied customer who was happy with the end result.

How did we achieve stakeholder satisfaction?

In all honesty, I would attribute the success of the project to following project communications management best practices. We had a communications plan which attributed to building a very committed project team, as well as a supportive customer.

The team met for progress meetings weekly and minutes and progress reports were distributed afterwards.  The customer was well informed throughout the project and we had 2-weekly feedback sessions with the customer as planned in the communications plan. Consistency with information distribution and performance reporting was key.

Through my regular verbal and written communications, I built trust with the customer who accepted the problems (risks that became issues) and delays that we experienced as we kept it totally transparent. Change requests were submitted to obtain approval for changes and the consequent impact on the timeline. The engineers who were part of the project team persevered and kept going while having to resolve many issues, as they were clear about the end goal of the project. The project team members acquired good skills while working on the project, which they, as well as the project manager, could reference in their future careers.

Project communications management as a best practice

As you can see from this case study example, it is sticking to simple best practices in project communications management that will enhance your chances for successful projects significantly. In this instance we delivered the project to budget and with quality, but in spite of being ‘late’, we managed the stakeholder’s expectations and achieved customer satisfaction at the end. This is why I think this case study is a good example of the difference that project communications management best practices can make.

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Comments

  1. I agree that communications is quite crucial in project management!

  2. I agree. it is only through effective and transparent communication that an organization can attract, and retain customers and build on their trust, hence build loyalty.