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Give Your Project a Home

Constructing a project control room is like making a home for your project. It’s a hangout space. It’s a collaboration hub. Why, it’s even the inside of a submarine if you want it to be. Let your imagination go wild. Though most importantly, a project control room is the nucleus for enhancing team strategy and performance. Kevin Korterud writing for Voices on Project Management explains why the project home has four distinct advantages.

Four Furnishings

  • Cohesion / Control
  • Collaboration
  • Visibility
  • Viability

Cohesion / Control & Collaboration

Having a control room centralizes the various aspects of the project. There may even be a “map” of sorts in the room that highlights factors such as schedule, project status, list of risks, list of deliverables, and milestones. Run with the submarine metaphor by posting these lists on a large monitor or TV screen to save paper. Like any good collaborative space, your control room will need furnishings like phone and laptop plug-ins, private rooms for phone calls, a meeting area, speaker phones, computers (of course), good lighting, comfy chairs, and more. Meet there, and meet there often to provide a continual flow of dialogue, ideas, and interaction.

Visibility & Viability

Let everyone know where the project room is and communicate its purpose. Have different teams occupy different parts of the room to be used at designated times and for regular meetings. Make the control room as viable as possible by ensuring that the details of its contents are looked after and maintained. In other words, if standard office materials are in short supply, the space becomes less functional and hence, less usable. The term “supplies” should be specified here, since notepads and markers are second only to snacks and beverages. Both should be stocked on a regular basis.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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