AIM Presentation by MikeJenny


Project Management and
  the Lifeline Telephone
   Counselling Service
           David Schrapel

                TUESDAY 9 OCTOBER, 2007
       Project Management - Setting the Standard
Australian Institute of Project Management National Conference 2007
            Hobart Tasmania            October 7 – 10, 2007
Communication in Project
A comparison to Lifeline Counselling

   David J. Schrapel
   Lead Trainer and Principal Consultant
   Codarra Advanced Systems
   and Volunteer Lifeline Counsellor
“Hello, this is Lifeline,
how can I help you?”

 What are we going to do today?

• We will explore how Lifeline manages
  consistent communication across a
  variety of calls and locations
• We will see how the counselling journey
  aligns to project communication
• You will get some strategies for managing
  communication within your projects.

      What is Lifeline 13 11 14?

• A telephone counselling service staffed by
  trained volunteer telephone counsellors who
  are ready to take calls 24-hours a day
• These volunteers operate from call centres in
  every state and territory around Australia
• Lifeline answers around 450,000 calls per year
  from people needing emotional support.

     The Lifeline Telephone
      Counselling Journey
• Based on a proven method
• Used to help the caller arrive at a solution
• Has 4 major phases
  – Listening
  – Reflecting
  – Exploring
  – Resolution
• Consistent across all calls, counselors
  and Lifeline centres.
      What is a Project?
• A project has clear characteristics
  – A finite and defined life cycle
  – Defined and measurable business products
  – A corresponding set of activities to achieve
    the business products
  – A defined amount of resources
  – An organisation structure, with defined
    responsibilities, to manage the project .

    Why Manage a Project?
•   Satisfy customers
•   Solve problems
•   Deliver better solutions
•   Deliver the solution faster
•   Deliver within budget constraints
•   Get paid more
•   Get promoted
•   Be a hero!
How do you see a Project
  Manager operating?

 Recent IT project delivery
       The Standish Group, 10th Annual CHAOS Report 2004

• 51% of all projects are challenged, i.e.
  over budget and/or late (was 50%)
• The average cost over-run is 43% of the
  original estimate (was 180%)
• 34% of projects will be completed on
  time, on budget (was 16%)
• 15% of projects will fail (was 34%)
                       fail. (was 34%)
                                                 Annual CHAOS Report 1994
                         The Standish Group, 1st Annual CHAOS Report 1994

  Communication is a vital
component of project success
• Based on the project life cycle
• Gathering information about the project
• Confirming requirements
• Developing options
• Agreeing a course of action
• Summarising and agreeing on delivery
• Delivering the capability and reporting on
• Closing the project.
Top 10 reasons for IT project
         The Standish Group, 10th Annual CHAOS Report 2004

1.    User involvement *
2.    Executive management support *
3.    Clear statement of requirements *
4.    Proper planning
5.    Realistic expectations *
6.    Smaller project milestones
7.    Competent staff
8.    Ownership *
9.    Clear vision and objectives *
10.                           staff.
      Hard-working, focused staff *
      Counselling actions
• Listening
  –   Openers - “This is Lifeline…..”
  –   Minimal encouragers – “Mm Mm”
  –   Attentive silences – Think time
  –   Echoing – 1 or 2 words
• Reflecting
  –   Reflection of feelings – “You feel…..”
  –   Paraphrasing - “You seem to be saying…..”
  –   Summarising – “Have I heard you correctly?”
  –   Reflection of meaning - “You value….., you feel it is
      important….., you believe…..”
 More Counselling actions
• Exploring
  –   Open questions – What, when, where, how, who
  –   Closed questions – To gain specific information
  –   Focusing – “What is the most important…..”
  –   Confrontation – “Can you clarify that for me?”
  –   Exploring options – “What have you tried…..”
• Resolution
  – Resolution phase – Summary reflection, clarification
    of decisions, offer to keep in contact
  – Difficult call resolution – “I am unable to help you
    with this problem…..”
      How are they related?
• Both counselling and project
  management are about finding solutions
• Outcomes are different – and the same!
• Process can be applied to both subject
• Communication is vital to good outcomes
• You will be able to use these processes in
  your project communication.
The relationship between
projects and counselling
    Telephone counselling     Phase            Project Management
         Component                                 Component
Openers                                  Introductions
Minimal Encouragers         Listening    Encouraging
Attentive Silence                        Listening
Echoing                                  Showing understanding
Reflection of Feelings      Reflecting   Establishing needs
Paraphrasing                             Understanding content
Summarising                              Confirming
Reflection of Meaning                    Establishing importance
Open Questions              Exploring    Clarification
Closed Questions                         Specific information
Focusing                                 Most important issue
Confrontation                            Examine contradictions
Exploring Options                        Achievable options
Resolution Phase            Resolution   Final summary and invitation
Difficult Call Resolution                Decision time
 How will this help our Project
• Clear path to resolution
• Greater understanding of communication
  as a project management tool
• Focus on establishing a shared vision of
  project outcomes
• Exit point if resolution is not possible
• Reduce the risk of project failure
• Better business outcomes
• Not project management method specific
So communication is „the vibe‟

• Communication is vital to project success
  on a number of levels
• Having a good process on which to base
  your communication will
  reduce the risk of failure
• Good communication can be
  taught but must be practiced
• „The vibe„ is hard to define,
  but you sure know when
  you‟re not getting it!
          Where to now?
•   Improve your communication skills
•   Use a process for communication
•   Include it in your communication plan
•   Practice your listening skills
•   We can all talk…..
•   We can all listen…..
•   But how many of us actually
   Are there any

You lot start coding, I’ll ask what they want.

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