Project management and frequent, high-quality communication is critical and should start as soon as a proposed action is identified and long before an NOI is released.
Identify and involve your entire EIS project team from the beginning, including Solicitor and OEPC representative (when non-delegated EIS) and keep everyone informed.
Establish clear roles and responsibilities, lines of accountability, and communication—the whole team should be on board with these aspects—and revisit as needed.
Monitor the health of your team (see sample checklist).
Establish clear, written decision-making protocols and meeting protocols.
Project Management Tips
Involve the entire team, including management and attorneys, in creating a project management plan (PMP), schedule (see Tip #2), and communications plan (CP).
Distribute the PMP and schedule to the entire team. A PMP and schedule are useless if they sit with the Project Manager and do not get distributed, discussed, or updated.
The PMP should be monitored frequently and regularly. Make course corrections on a weekly or biweekly basis. Map progress on various tasks, and flag those that may be falling behind schedule. Involve those responsible for the tasks in getting tasks back on schedule. Bring in management if there could be resource or funding issues.
Hold productive meetings with agendas, time limits, facilitators on a regular basis.
Document and track decisions and assignments from meetings. Send meeting notes to the attendees and management.
Provide opportunity for feedback both in groups and one-on-one.
Encourage early and constructive conflict and effective resolution of unproductive conflict.
Identify and include cooperating agencies, elected officials, potentially affected communities, media, and major stakeholders in the CP.