News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Communication in R&D Project Management

The more resources involved in attaining R&D project goals, the more complex communication tasks become.

ConceptDraw Office is able to clearly define and implement the communication processes for your researchers. It is the tool to build long-lasting relationships between team members, expedite project activities, and keep control over projects by delivering necessary information in appropriate formats to all team members.

ConceptDraw Office addresses communication as a critical component in setting the stage throughout the research project phases.

The initial Idea stage is where project ideas are generated, selected, discussed and finalized. The main issue facing project managers at this stage is the need to understand the main goal and its requirements. Whether you are working on an internal or external project, there is always a need to discuss ideas and potential strategies, as project resource requirements must be calculated and understood amongst all project participants.

The suggested forms of communication at the Idea stage are brainstorm sessions, mind maps, business process models and presentations.

At the Planning and Executing stages, a project timeline is mapped out for task and resource (people, equipment, and materials) allocation. ConceptDraw Office contains the tools necessary to handle these two important stages.

ConceptDraw PROJECT is tightly integrated with ConceptDraw PRO, requiring just one click to automatically build a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) chart for your project. Now it is easy to keep your WBS up to date. If more changes are needed, modifications to the project can be directly made in ConceptDraw PROJECT with the automatic rebuild of associated WBS.

ConceptDraw PROJECT also makes it easy to send detailed ToDo lists to all project participants. The typical amount of time it takes to communicate these tasks is significantly reduced to a minimum. Suggested forms of communication for the Planning and Executing stages are Gantt charts, WBS charts, flowcharts and ToDo lists.

Two other major components necessary for the success of a R&D project are Daily and Management Communication. Having a communication management strategy that is supported by ConceptDraw Office helps detail the needs and expectations of the team, how project data will be exchanged, and the responsibilities of each team member.

The communication process continues as long as a project is in action, to keep information flowing between all members of a project.

ConceptDraw Office minimizes the amount of project rework necessary and improves the everyday workflow of research project by utilizing visual methods to represent pertinent information. With visual methods it is easy to:

  • open project files in ConceptDraw MINDMAP to modify schedules and project details
  • effectively determine workload-to-work capacity and resource allocation in ConceptDraw PROJECT
  • build charts and diagrams in ConceptDraw PRO that document processes and reports on project status

Suggested communication formats for the Communicate and Manage stages are Report Maps, Visual Reports, Project Dashboards, knowledge maps, mind maps and PowerPoint presentations.

Clear communication within a research team helps build a collaborative work environment, with an emphasis on a shared vision of goals. ConceptDraw Office offers an effective and innovative approach to building communication flow at all stages of a R&D project.

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