Project Leaders Depend on Accurate Information

Claiming to be oblivious to unethical or illegal behaviour happening within an organisation is not an acceptable excuse for allowing it to occur. Leaders will be held responsible – even when they claim to have no knowledge of the situation.

The people governing your organisation are coming under increasing pressure to know what is going on at every level – and to take appropriate actions as necessary.

Projects and programs are becoming increasingly important to the development and growth of organisations, therefore, information about the performance of projects and programs plays a critical role in the governance of the organisation. This means you are responsible for ensuring the information delivered to executives and communicated within the team is  ACCURATE.

Fulfilling this obligation requires a full team effort.

Creating the right governance systems is critical to ensure the right information reaches the right levels of the organisation at the right time. For this to work effectively involves putting structure in place and having the right tools to maintain up to date information. These systems operate best in a culture of openness and accountability — and require leadership from the highest levels of the organisation to operate well.

Project professionals can support these systems, but we cannot do a lot to create the necessary culture. We can, however, have a major influence on how information is created and disseminated in the governance system.

The key features of communication that we can control are interlinked and interdependent, and can summed up in the acronym ACCURATE:

Available: The project information has to be accessible in various appropriate formats to all levels of management in as close to real-time as possible.

Complete: The project information needs to provide a full and accurate picture of the current and forecasted situation.

Concise: Executives are busy people—excessive detail does not help. They need to understand the bottom line. Your project stakeholder communication plan needs to take into account the needs of the stakeholder and communicate accordingly.

Understandable: Project management is full of technical jargon so we need to ensure we communicate in business language.

Relevant: Communicate information that is relevant to the achievement of business objectives.  Just because something is important to the project team doesn’t mean it’s important to the overall organisation.

Auditable: If asked, you need to be able to provide the source of the information and the processing steps taken to consolidate and communicate the information.

Timely: Markets and teams operate in a 24-hour news cycle. Important information needs to be communicated immediately (you cannot wait for the monthly report).

Explainable: Project professionals need to be available to explain the information and help executives understand the consequences

Project professionals have a responsibility to make sure the information they are communicating meets this standard and is also ACCURATE.

How ACCURATE is your project information? Would it stand up to scrutiny and are you happy to be accountable for it? 

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