Project Management: Project Communication Plan

Back to Basics - Project Management: Project Communication Plan

In previous post we looked at project risk planning, in this post we will look at project communication plan. Project managers do not think of project communication plan as a separate activity to pursue while planning a project. It is however important to understand that well designed project communication plan will help everyone involved in the project to align their energies for successful project delivery.

You can jump to Project Planning | Project Scope | Project Delivery Schedule Planning | Project Resources Planning | Project Cost Planning | Project Quality Planning | Project Risk Planning | Project Communication Planning

Project Communication Plan

Project Management Project Communication PlanningProjects get successfully delivery only when people work together. Project team can work together only when they know what they should do and they would know this, only when they are informed about it. That’s the precise reason why organizations should have project communication plan. Project communication plan is about establishing appropriate channels to let correct information flow top-down as well as bottom-up manner at most appropriate time.

Identifying Project Stakeholders

The first thing that needs to be done at the time of creating project communication plan is, to identify stakeholders of the project and their information relevance (extent of information & time of receiving/sharing information). Stakeholders could be customers (internal/external), vendors, employees, partners, etc. and of course at different levels in the project organization with differential interest, importance & influence over project.

Project Communication Plan

Project Communication Plan

It is important for project manager to categorize project stakeholders & identify apt communication channels as per stakeholders’ category. Such arrangement will save project managers’ time during project execution while dealing with amount of information he/she receives & has to communicate.

Just for example, some stakeholders necessarily have to receive certain information (e.g. project sponsors to know about achievement/failure to achieve milestones in respect of specific timeline) similarly; project planner can identify categories of project stakeholders such as follows

For each of the identified stakeholder category, there has to be modes of communication that we need to establish as appropriate to the context of the project.

As a part of project communication plan, project manager need to clearly mention about how information would be gathered & shared–

  • Receiving information: should it be through meeting (e.g. User Acceptance Test meeting with customer) or over email (collect status of activities/issues over email or s/w tool from team members )or some other means
  • Sharing Information: should it be done through meeting (e.g. stakeholder meeting) & then sharing MoM mail or over email (project activities are to be completed by team members)

What can we expect from project communication plan?

Sr. No To distribute/share To receive
1.1 Must Inform Must get response/update from
1.2 Should Inform Should get response/update from
1.3 Could Possibly Inform Could Possibly get update from
1.4 Need not inform Need not get update from
Sr. No Importance Other Factors
2.1 Critical | Information/action Immediate (time, frequency)
2.2 Mandatory | Information/action As per schedule (time, frequency)
2.3 Information only Email/press release/Language, format
2.4 For action & updates Authority to share/ receive/ commit
2.5 Can Ignore | Confidential Escalation Matrix for reference

Categorization of project stakeholders & information

New generation of project management software have implicit capability to manage and implement most of the project communication plan.

What do you think of this post? Let me know your feedback & comments.

You can jump to Project Planning | Project Scope | Project Delivery Schedule Planning | Project Resources Planning | Project Cost Planning | Project Quality Planning | Project Risk Planning | Project Communication Planning

_____________________________________________________________________________

Project Management Software

Use project management software for project planning & scheduling Try ZilicusPM a powerful tool that enable online project management WBS, online scheduling, resource assignment, Gantt chart, project tracking, issue tracking, online calendar, risk register and much more.