Project Communication Leader Promotes Management Leadership

OUR LADY OF FATIMA UNIVERSITY ANTIPOLO CAMPUS A BUSINESS CASE STUDY AT&T PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER OF EXCELLENCE Communications Leader Promotes Project Management Leadership Submitted to: Dr, Marmelo V. Abante – CCS Dept. Head / Project Management Professor – Submitted by: Brioso, John Oliver P. – Student – AT&T PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER OF EXCELLENCE Communications Leader Promotes Project Management Leadership INTRODUCTION As a world leader in communication technology, AT&T connects people from all around the globe.

Just as consumers and businesses rely on AT&T services to stay connected, AT&T relies on internal resources, in particular project and program managers, to remain a best in-class service provider.

BACKGROUND AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T – News) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation’s leading wireless, high speed

Internet access and voice services? In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.

COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list.

In an effort to institute common standards, foster a project management culture and improve individual and organizational competencies, AT established a Project Management Center of Excellence (PMCOE).

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The PMCOE targeted over 10,000 project managers, program managers and their supervisors, as well as holders of the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential within the company, with the mission to be recognized internally as the resource for project management consulting, mentoring, training, processes, tools and techniques. Additional goals of the PMCOE included: Drive AT culture to advocate, support and sustain professional project management •Assess and improve AT professional project management competency at all levels: individual, team and organizational •Ensure the right processes, services and tools are in place and linked to support professional project management success •Ensure pertinent information is communicated to the PM Community in the most effective manner possible •Secure visible leadership champions to support PMCOE initiatives •Facilitate creation of a project management community to promote exchange of information to improve project management practices •Encourage, facilitate and support continuing education and development of the PMCOE team. The project was led by 11 PMPs with an expense budget that covered the cost of the team’s professional development and the costs associated with the annual AT Project Management Symposium, a significant PMCOE initiative. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES BUSINESS GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The business goals and objectives for this project will focus on implementing mobile technology that: •Improves officer, firefighter and citizen safety. •Facilitates coordination and information sharing both internal and external to the participating organizations. •Enhances the ability and effectiveness of staff to perform their jobs. •Facilitates coordinated crime prevention and reduction. •Provides high levels of data security. •Provides an open, flexible, reliable technology base for the future. •Facilitates the electronic capture of data at its source. •Is easy to use. •Eliminate redundant data entry throughout the organization. PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Sample project goals and objectives: •Ensure that end users have input into the design process. Accomplish project business goals and objectives within defined budget and time parameters. •Minimize impact to standard business operations within the affected units. •Craft a favorable and secure agreement between the Department and the selected vendor.
• PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN To support the AT Project Management Community, the PMCOE established consultants who were designated to support the various business units within the company. This business unit specific support provided the guidance and resources project management community members required even more intensive consulting was provided upon request to ensure that all needs were met.

To understand which services were most important to the AT Project Management Community, the PMCOE distributed both company-wide and business unit surveys to identify problem areas (e. g. leadership support, adequate training, etc. ) and determine what needs its audience had which could potentially be met by the center. Initial discussions and survey findings helped to tailor the PMCOE offerings to provide the best payback of investment for both the PM Community and PMCOE efforts. Since effective communication was a vital element to the success of the project, the PMCOE established a formal Communications Management Plan which promoted awareness nd use of PMCOE products and services throughout the company. As companies merged, targeted emails to known project and program managers of each legacy company were used to announce the center’s purpose and mission, offering to support their professional needs. As the PM Community grew, the PMCOE launched a monthly newsletter containing recent project management accomplishments, success stories, upcoming events and reminders of best practices. It was distributed via corporate email to ensure that information was being disseminated effectively. More recently, the PMCOE is expanding communications through rich content on the corporate intranet using the latest in Web 2. 0 technology.

Additionally, to further promote the PMCOE and communicate the mission of the center, an annual AT PM Symposium was established to bring significant recognition to the practice of professional project management at AT. The annual event provides training and empowerment for project managers as well as the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers. Furthermore, leadership involvement in the Symposium has been consistently high, and in 2007, 22 AT officers and vice presidents participated across multiple locations. Communication with these corporate leaders has also been a critical success factor for the PMCOE. AT has found that when executives and middle managers support the mission of the center, their words have a significant influence on the project management community. CURRENT SITUATION AND PROBLEM OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

The largest challenge the PMCOE faced was that during project activities, legacy companies SBC and AT merged, bringing together two distinct project management improvement organizations with slightly different areas of focus. This change forced the PMCOE to reevaluate the project and determine how to appropriately fuse the strengths of the two organizations. The PMCOE was also finding it difficult to determine the best way to support the over 10,000 employees that make up AT project management community. Within the community, there are various business units all of which have different needs and concentrations. Additionally, not only was the PMCOE tasked to support a large number of AT project managers, they had to also understand which services were most important to them. Finally, effective and efficient communication would be a key element for he success of the PMCOE; however with such a sizeable and worldwide PM population, the PMCOE would have to determine how to best share valuable information on a large scale. Without appropriate communication, the PMCOE risked going unrecognized and not being used to its full potential. CRITICAL ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSTRAINTS PROJECT ASSUMPTIONS The following assumptions were made in preparing the Project Plan: •AT employees are willing to change business operations to take advantage of the functionality offered by the new mobile technology. •Management will ensure that project team members are available as needed to complete project tasks and objectives. •The Steering Committee will participate in the timely execution of the Project Plan (i. e. , timely approval cycles and meeting when required). Failure to identify changes to draft deliverables within the time specified in the project timeline will result in project delays. •Project team members will adhere to the Communications Plan. •Mid and upper management will foster support and “buy-in” of project goals and objectives. •The City will ensure the existence of a technological infrastructure that can support the new mobile technology. •All project participants will abide by the guidelines identified within this plan. •The Project Plan may change as new information and issues are revealed. PROJECT CONSTRAINT The following represent known project constraints: •Project funding sources are limited, with no contingency. Due to the nature of law enforcement, resource availability is inconsistent. ANALYSIS OF OPTIONS AND RECOMMENDATION To combat and avoid challenges during the development of the center, the PMCOE applied a project management methodology that was in complete alignment with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). The first priority was to ensure that the merging of the PM practices between legacy companies ran smoothly. As such, the PMCOE followed a five step process as established by PMI for successful project management: •The Initiating Process – During this stage, the PMCOE team received approval from senior management to establish the merged PMCOE.

A proposal was developed which included a needs assessment, resource forecast and financial benefits. During annual planning, the PMCOE Business Plan was re-evaluated to ensure mission and goals were in alignment with corporate priorities and strategic drivers. •The Planning Process – The team determined which project management products and services from each legacy team continued to add value to the project management community. A needs assessment was completed to identify the most critical project management products and services under the new AT vision and mission statement. •The Executing Process – The team executed the outlined plan which resulted in delivering the project on time, under budget and with quality.

Within several months, the new PMCOE had executed the integration of the two legacy teams and gained traction with the recently merged PM Community. •The Monitoring and Controlling Process – The PMCOE reported business plan goals each month to senior management. An annual Client Satisfaction Survey was distributed at the end of the year to capture feedback from the merged AT Project Management Community and additional surveys were distributed to the participants of major deliverables including the annual AT Project Management Symposium. All this feedback was analyzed and incorporated into key findings that were then used to improve the PMCOE. The Closing Process – This final step occurred in two distinct stages. First, the integration of the legacy teams was completed successfully. Next, the process (Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling) was repeated when legacy BellSouth and legacy Cingular project managers were incorporated effectively into the PMCOE Business Plan. To finally close the project, lessons learned were identified to assist with future planning. POTENTIAL PROJECT RISKS RiskRisk Level L/M/HLikelihood of EventMitigation Strategy Project Size Person HoursH: Over 20,000CertaintyAssigned Project Manager, engaged consultant, comprehensive project management approach and communications plan

Estimated Project ScheduleH: Over 12 monthsCertaintyCreated comprehensive project timeline with frequent baseline reviews Team Size at PeakH: Over 15 membersCertaintyComprehensive communications plan, frequent meetings, tight project management oversight Number of Interfaces to Existing Systems AffectedH: Over 3CertaintyDevelop interface control document immediately Project Definition Narrow Knowledge Level of UsersM: Knowledgeable of user area onlyLikelyAssigned Project Manager(s) to assess global implications Available documentation clouds establishment of baselineM: More than 75% complete/currentLikelyBalance of information to be gathered by consultant

Project Scope CreepL: Scope generally defined, subject to revisionUnlikelyScope intially defined in project plan, reviewed monthly by three groups (Project Manager and Steering Committee) to prevent undetected scope creep Consultant Project Deliverables unclearL: Well definedUnlikelyIncluded in project plan, subject to amendment Vendor Project DeliverablesM: Estimated, not clearly definedSomewhat likelyIncluded in project plan, subject to amendment Cost Estimates UnrealisticL: Thoroughly predicted by industry experts using proven practices to 15% margin of errorUnlikelyIncluded in project plan, subject to amendment as new details regarding project scope are revealed

Timeline Estimates UnrealisticM: Timeline assumes no derailmentSomewhat likelyTimeline reviewed monthly by three groups (Project Manager and Steering Committee) to prevent undetected timeline departures Number of Team Members Unknowledgeable of BusinessL: Team well versed in business operations impacted by technologyUnlikelyProject Manager and consultant to identify knowledge gaps and provide training, as necessary Project Leadership Steering Committee existenceL: Identified and enthusiasticUnlikelyFrequently seek feedback to ensure continued support Absence of Commitment Level/Attitude of ManagementL: Understands value & supports projectUnlikelyFrequently seek feedback to ensure continued support

Absence of Commitment Level/Attitude of UsersL: Understands value & supports projectUnlikelyFrequently seek feedback to ensure continued support Absence of Mid-Management CommitmentL: Most understand value & support projectUnlikelyFrequently seek feedback to ensure continued support Project Staffing Project Team AvailabilityM: Distributed team makes availability questionableSomewhat likelyContinuous review of project momentum by all levels. Consultant to identify any impacts caused by unavailability. If necessary, increase committmment by participants to full time status Physical Location of Team prevents effective managementM: Team is dispersed among several sitesLikelyUse of Intranet project website, comprehensive Communications Plan

Project Team’s Shared Work Experience creates poor working relationshipM: Some have worked together beforeSomewhat likelyComprehensive Communications Plan Weak User Participation on Project TeamL: Users are part-time team membersUnlikelyUser Group Participants coordinated by full time employee Project Management Procurement Methodology Used foreign to teamL: Procurement Methodology familiar to teamUnlikelyN/A Change Management Procedures undefinedL: Well-definedUnlikelyN/A Quality Management Procedures unclearL: Well-defined and acceptedUnlikelyN/A Software Vendor Number of Times Team Has Done Prior Work with Vendor Creates Foreign RelationshipH: NeverCertaintyA comprehensive vendor evaluation and election process (incorporated into Project Plan) will be employed to predict and define the relationship between the department and the vendor Team’s Lack of Knowledge of PackageM: Conceptual understandingSomewhat likelyComprehensive vendor evaluation and selection process incorporated into Project Plan will assist the team in better understanding the package offering(s) Poor Functional Match of Package to Initial System RequirementsL: Minimal customization requiredUnlikelyAlthough a package has not yet been selected, the Consultant has compared the initial requirements with available functionality and determined that a functional match to the initial requirements is very likely.

Vendor selection will be based, in part, on how well the proposed application matches defined functional specifications. Team’s Involvement in Package Selection Impacts Success of ImplementationL: High involvement in selectionUnlikelyComprehensive vendor evaluation and selection process incorporated into Project Plan PROJECT MANAGEMENT APPROACH RoleResponsibilities Project Sponsor•Ultimate decision-maker and tie-breaker •Provide project oversight and guidance •Review/approve some project elements Steering Committee•Commits department resources •Approves major funding and resource allocation strategies, and significant changes to funding/resource allocation •Resolves conflicts and issues •Provides direction to the Project Manager •Review project deliverables

Project Manager•Manages project in accordance to the project plan •Serves as liaison to the Steering Committee •Receive guidance from Steering Committee •Supervises consultants •Supervise vendor(s) •Provide overall project direction •Direct/lead team members toward project objectives •Handle problem resolution •Manages the project budget Project Participants•Understand the user needs and business processes of their area •Act as consumer advocate in representing their area •Communicate project goals, status and progress throughout the project to personnel in their area •Review and approve project deliverables •Creates or helps create work products Coordinates participation of work groups, individuals and stakeholders •Provide knowledge and recommendations •Helps identify and remove project barriers •Assure quality of products that will meet the project goals and objectives •Identify risks and issues and help in resolutions Subject Matter Experts•Lend expertise and guidance as needed PROJECT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ? ISSUE MANAGEMENT The information contained within the Project Plan will likely change as the project progresses. While change is both certain and required, it is important to note that any changes to the Project Plan will impact at least one of three critical success factors: Available Time, Available Resources (Financial, Personnel), or Project Quality.

The decision by which to make modifications to the Project Plan (including project scope and resources) should be coordinated using the following process: Step 1: As soon as a change which impacts project scope, schedule, staffing or spending is identified, the Project Manager will document the issue. Step 2:The Project Manager will review the change and determine the associated impact to the project and will forward the issue, along with a recommendation, to the Steering Committee for review and decision. Step 3:Upon receipt, the Steering Committee should reach a consensus opinion on whether to approve, reject or modify the request based upon the information contained within the project website, the Project Manager’s recommendation and their own judgment.

Should the Steering Committee be unable to reach consensus on the approval or denial of a change, the issue will be forwarded to the Project Sponsor, with a written summation of the issue, for ultimate resolution. Step 4:If required under the decision matrix or due to a lack of consensus, the Project Sponsor shall review the issue(s) and render a final decision on the approval or denial of a change. Step 5:Following an approval or denial (by the Steering Committee or Project Sponsor), the Project Manager will notify the original requestor of the action taken. There is no appeal process. COMMUNICATION PLAN Disseminating knowledge about the project is essential to the project’s success.

Project participants desire knowledge of what the status of the project is and how they are affected. Furthermore, they are anxious to participate. The more that people are educated about the progress of the project and how it will help them in the future, the more they are likely to participate and benefit. This plan provides a framework for informing, involving, and obtaining buy-in from all participants throughout the duration of the project. Audience, this communication plan is for the following audiences: •Project Sponsor •Steering Committee •Project Manager •User Group Participants •Subject Matter Experts Communications Methodology The communications methodology utilizes three directions for effective communication: •Top-Down.

It is absolutely crucial that all participants in this project sense the executive support and guidance for this effort. The executive leadership of the organization needs to speak with a unified, enthusiastic voice about the project and what it holds for everyone involved. This will be ‘hands-on’ change management, if it is to be successful. Not only will the executives need to speak directly to all levels of the organization, they will also need to listen directly to all levels of the organization, as well. The transition from the project management practices of today to the practices envisioned for tomorrow will be driven by a sure and convinced leadership focused on a vision and guided by clearly defined, strategic, measurable goals. •Bottom-Up.

To ensure the buy-in and confidence of the personnel involved in bringing the proposed changes to reality, it will be important to communicate the way in which the solutions were created. If the perception in the organization is that only the Steering Committee created the proposed changes, resistance is likely to occur. However, if it is understood that all participants were consulted, acceptance seems more promising. •Middle-Out. Full support at all levels, where the changes will have to be implemented, is important to sustainable improvement. At this level (as with all levels), there must be an effort to find and communicate the specific benefits of the changes. People need a personal stake in the success of the project management practices.

Communications Outreach The following is a list of communication events that are established for this project: •Monthly Status Reports. The Project Manager shall provide monthly written status reports to the Steering Committee. The reports shall include the following information tracked against the Project Plan: •Summary of tasks completed in previous month •Summary of tasks scheduled for completion in the next month •Summary of issue status and resolutions Communications Outreach, the following is a list of communication events that are established for this project: •Monthly Steering Committee Meeting – These status meetings are held at least once per month and are coordinated by the Project Manager.

Every member of the Steering Committee participates in the meeting. The Project Manager sends the status report to each member of the team prior to the meeting time so everyone can review it in advance. •Bi-Monthly Project Team Status Meeting – These status meetings are held every other month. Every member of the Project Team will be invited to participate in the meeting. Project Manager sends the status report to each member of the team prior to the meeting so everyone can review it in advance. •Website Use – User Group Participants and Subject Matter Experts may be updated monthly at the discretion of the Project Manager. Information will be posted to the project’s website.

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Project Communication Leader Promotes Management Leadership. (2017, Dec 11). Retrieved from

Project Communication Leader Promotes Management Leadership
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