Transitioning to Agile / Scrum from PMBOK – Communications management

The PMBOK says ‘90% of the project manager’s time goes into communication’. Very true. As a project manager I am either talking, listening, writing or reading, upward, lateral, downward using the several media available. When, that is the case, if someone is not good at it, then that is a problem, irrespective of the framework used for project management. Agile is very intense in communication. If the traditional models of project management relies on reports, agile promotes face to face communication (co-location). Co-location may not feasible in the case of distributed teams. In such cases face to face communication using video is recommended. Scrum provides enough opportunities and tools for effective communication in the form of;

  • User stories
  • Sprint planning meeting
  • Daily scrum (daily standup meeting)
  • Burn down charts
  • Tracking board (information radiators)
  • Sprint demo
  • Sprint retrospectives

These ceremonies and artifacts are very effective to ensure proper communication.Again do not forget the golden rule of communication from PMBOK; “It is the responsibility of the sender of the information to ensure that, the recipient got the information and understood the intended meaning of it..”. Proper communication planning (including all stakeholders), and the impeccable execution of it, is key to successful project management, irrespective of the framework used.

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