I've been pretty busy with several large projects and wanted to update this post with a few more learnings:
Additional Communication Methods to Help During Rapid Change
What is rapid change? Well as a project consultant my baseline on change has evolved over the years (eight years consulting and counting) so I have been used to dynamic situations for a while (you don't start out that way). Most clients that you work with seldom have to deal with longer periods of significant change, and some clients may struggle to communciate internally fast enough to keep up with an aggressive project timeline.
The following are easy to implement but highly effective things that can be added to your project rhythm to help the extended team feel and stay involved even during periods of rapid disruptive change.
4 or 5 times a week. Sometimes called a standing meeting. 10-15 minute call or meeting to update and ask questions. Simple rules apply:
1. It begins and ends on time.
2. Updates are provided by all attendees (if they have an action to update)
3. New concerns can be raised for later discussion (follow up meeting)
4. Great time to recognize achievements or clarify a deliverable
Weekly Updates (to the entire project team)
Be proactive and transparent in your communication. By communicating and providing answers and information before it is asked for can prevent a lot of confusion and build trust. Put yourself on the receiving end, what information would be useful to you? Celebrate the success as milestones are achieved, and let everyone know what is coming up next.
As much as possible try to speak with impacted parties for critical items. Our email culture can be very fire and forget, and not everyone can get to the bottom of their new email every day. Use the scrums for internal team and call the impacted clients or remote extended teams when you can, especially if you have a time sensitive request. If you have video capabilities like Lync, Skype or TelePresence use them. Seeing each other's faces can bridge time zones, assure a nervous participant, and ensure they know you are listening to them and their involvement is important.
Hope some of the above help during your next fast paced project.
Thanks for reading!