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Project Management Guide: Project Communication Planning

Back2Basics Project Management Guide - Project Planning

Project Management Guide: Project Communication Planning

In previous post we briefly touched how to planning risks of projects, in this post we will look at planning of project communications.

You can jump to Project Planning | Project Scope | Delivery Schedule Planning | Resource Planning | Cost Planning | Quality Planning | Risk Planning | Communication Planning parts of this series.

Project Communication Planning

Project Management Guide - Project Communication Planning

Projects 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 communication plan. Project communication planning is about establishing appropriate channels to let correct information flow top-down as well as bottom-up manner.

Identifying Project Stakeholders

The first thing that needs to be done at the time of creating communication plan for a project 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.

Planning project communication:

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.

Project manager need to be clear 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 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

Table 4: Categorization of project stakeholders & information

New generation of online project management software have implicit capability to manage most of the project communication.

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

Back2Basics Project Management Guide - Project Planning

You can jump to Project Planning | Project Scope | Delivery Schedule Planning | Resource Planning | Cost Planning | Quality Planning | Risk Planning | Communication Planning parts of this series.

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I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.