The information factor concerns how, by whom and on which basis decisions can be taken. Who may decide about which matters in the project? Is it the project leader, the client or a substantive expert within the team? What will be archived and by whom? Will tools (e.g. project website, issue tracker, e-mail notification, joint agenda) be used? These and other informational questions must be answered before a project can be started. Organisations that regularly work with projects have a number of tools (e.g. Word templates) on hand for handling information within a project.
Information in project plans:
- Which information must be provided to whom and in which form?
- Which information will be recorded, distributed and archived?
- Which information tools will be used?
Information in progress monitoring:
- Arrange for periodic consultation.
- Ensure that the right information is provided to the right person.
- Determine whether agreements have been met.
Information in project reporting:
- Write the project report.
Appendices 6 through 9 of this handbook provide a number of samples of information forms that can be used for exchanging information exchange within a project:
- Issue list
- Action-and-decision list
- Risk log
- Meeting report
The issue list contains all of the points that must be discussed. This list must be discussed regularly. For keeping track of progress and registering decisions that have been taken, a model for an action and decision list has been included. A risk log has been included to help document risks that are identified during a project. These risks must then be discussed in the next meeting of the project team and, where necessary, eliminated. Finally, a standard meeting report has been included as an example of how to compiled and archive this type of report. Appendix 3 contains an overview of helpful tools by third parties.
One important aspect of securing the information concerning a project is that all decisions should be reproducible. Decisions are often taken orally and not archived. Regardless of how clear such decisions may seem at the time for both parties, they must eventually appear in writing. If this is not possible, the undocumented decision can become a source of misunderstanding or even conflict.
Many projects are delayed by various interventions from outside (e.g. this is even more important, this is better politically, the customer wants us to work on something else first). Keeping a personal log for recording this type of intervention can help project workers identify the cause of project delays.