1. Identifying the Communication between Roles
The Communication Analys.xls spreadsheet is a starting point for identifying people who need to talk directly to each other. The spreadsheet contains some common roles. You can replace these roles with the roles relevant to your project. For each pair of roles ask the question - is there a necessity for these roles to have some kind of direct communication? If there is, then mark the intersection between the two roles. This first step is purely a way of discovering where the communication demands are, who has the most communication demands and also for identifying potential problems.
2. Analyzing the Communication Demands
A demand is a necessary communication path because one person makes some kind of demand on another: for information, for review, for decision making, etc.
The example demand analysis spreadsheet Demand Analysis.xls (concerned with a medical system) illustrates how you can take each necessary communication (discovered in step 1) and analyse each of the demands necessitated by that communication. Use a copy of the spreadsheet to do your own demand analysis.
Each demand consists of:
You can calculate the number of potential communication paths between people using the following algorithm Number of Communication Paths = (P*(P - 1))/2
So for 5 people there are 10 possible communication paths.
However if a person has more than one reason for communicating with another person then each communication reason can be viewed as a separate demand. For example if each person has one specialty subject that needs to be communicated to 4 other people, then we can view this as 20 communication paths. In other words, each type of knowledge has its own communication path.
The reason for exposing this complexity is to discover the necessary communication paths within the project and to make them apparent to all stakeholders so that we can plan how to facilitate the communications.
This work is copyright © 1995 - 2002 Atlantic Systems Guild Limited, but may be adapted for your internal use provided copyright is acknowledged. Please let us know what you are using it for.
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