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A couple of days ago I got called into the PMO office asking me as to why certain developments were not communicated. This was not an easy conversation and though it is categorically stated in the communication plan the levels of correspondence to go out to the PMO office. Any ideas on how does one deal with situation like this

  • As a former member of the PMO, now Scrum Master of the previous Programme I feel best placed to help but can you answer some questions? – Venture2099 Jan 19 '15 at 2:07
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    1. What role are you fulfilling? 2. What are you involved in - a project, a programme, a product? 3. What framework are you using - waterfall, agile, PRINCE2, PMP? 4. Do you have a stakeholder communication or RACI template/plan? 5. Did the PMO Office coach you? 6. How long have you been with the company? – Venture2099 Jan 19 '15 at 2:09
  • Conflict implies that there was a disagreement about something. Please articulate what that "something" is, since you haven't made the nature of the conflict clear in your post. – Todd A. Jacobs Jan 20 '15 at 0:20
  • CodeGnome. In the details of my question, I have made a mention of what the conflict was about. A disagreement in the communication sort after with the program manager having a different understanding from mine. Since this was my first question, please let me know if this is sufficient. – Neil Mendes Jan 20 '15 at 2:45
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A direct approach will be good.

You should recollect PMO of the agreed communication plan and inform them that you communicated adhering to the plan. Additionally tell PMO that if any change in the plan is needed, you are open to discussion to avoid any similar confusion.

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Why is this a conflict? I think your best approach is to follow the plan, the process and procedures, and the standards put forth by your project leadership and the PMO. While no one can follow these things perfectly, it is your responsibility as either or both a team member or manager to pursue compliance as if perfection was possible and to understand what broke down when you failed.

On the other hand, deviation from a planned approach is sometimes required. When you are consciously deviating from the plan, you should document that such that you can explain your decision when that time comes. If your leadership and PMO were reasonably of quality, they would understand your decision--albeit may not agree--and move on.

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Thanks all for your suggestion, I did end up going the direct approach and it was agreed that with regards to the plan there was nothing amiss. We also agreed on having a revisit of the plan, and added a couple of more scenario based touch points.

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First the good- you have a communication plan and by your post I'm assuming that it has been followed too! Now the bad- the communication plan hasn't worked.

By that I mean the comms plan hasn't met the needs of the stakeholder engagement strategy (I'm assuming this beacause from your post someone senior to you wanted to be told or have stakeholders told something in a particular way at a particular time and that hasn't happened as it wasn't in the comms plan).

Your comms planning approach probably is fine but it may be your stakeholder strategy needs a refresh. I'd suggest starting by re-socialising your RACI with your PMO and working with them to to tweak the comms plan so that everybody is receiving the communications they need.

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