Programme and Project Interactions

Interaction between people is a key element of successful programmes/projects.

Interactions include communications, negotiation, decision making, conflict management (resolving issues and problems between people), leadership, relationship management (preserving the relationship with stakeholders) and self-management (how a person presents their positions and needs to others as opposed to managing oneself).

Of these interaction types, communication is the most prevalent in programmes/projects. Communications encompasses the many conversations, telephone calls, instant messages, e-mails, face-to-face meetings, presentations, letters, memorandum, reports, specifications, plans, and teleconferences, etc.

As a rule, people need to communicate in order to work together to achieve shared objectives and goals. When they do not, they find it difficult to obtain the information that they need to perform their work and to coordinate their efforts.

Interactions between programmes/projects participants help shape a stable (or unstable, if things are not going well) path for progression. There are numerous factors that influence their interactions, these can have both positive or negative effects. People need to realise this in order to work together effectively.

One issue experienced when organisations have outsourced business or technology operations has been the barriers imposed by cultural differences. Cultural differences can influence the interactions of people who are located in different countries. What is normal business behaviour in one country may be totally unacceptable in another. In some cultures, tardiness is expected whereas in others it is inexcusable.

In programmes/projects with poor interactions, especially communications, there is a greater chance of failure. What else is to be expected if people find it difficult to obtain the information that they need, are unable to coordinate their work, or work together toward shared objectives and goals. Poor interactions are a little like swimming against a tide!

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