Communications Management Plan

When it comes to projects, they're just like our bodies. If we want things to run smoothly and in a well-oiled way, then we need to make sure that we communicate information so the right things are done. All project stakeholders have a number of communication needs and information requirements. Sometimes they can be more timid, closed, or reluctant to do so, while sometimes they make their requirements clear. 

The task of the project manager is always to identify and manage the communication needs of stakeholders. A good communication management plan is needed to do this with a more professional approach and with feet on the ground.

In order to create a communication management plan, it is necessary to first investigate how to establish effective communication with stakeholders. Methods in which the highest efficiency will be obtained from communication should be determined and shown in the communication management plan. Similarly, the communication needs of stakeholders should be defined in the communication management plan. How to determine the approach to these needs should be described.

It should be clarified which stakeholder will need what information and when, and it should be planned in which format this information will be delivered to the stakeholders through what. Only the necessary elements should be included in the communication and unnecessary considerations should be excluded from the communication management plan.

Plan Communication Management is in the planning process group and in the communications management knowledge area. The main output of the process, as you may guess, is the communication management plan.

Inputs of Plan Communications Management Process

  • Requirements documentation: Communications requirements can be obtained by using this documentation.
  • Stakeholder register: In order to find out specific information needs of the stakeholders, first we have to know who are them and what are their positions in the project.
  • Project charter: The list of key stakeholders can be obtained from charter.
  • Resource management plan: It contains the list of team members and human resources of a project. 
  • Stakeholder engagement plan: We can reach the communications needs of stakeholders by using this plan.
  • Enterprise environmental factors: Personel policies, organizational culture, risk attitude and risk tresholds of stakeholders, organizational communication channels, softwares, communication tools, geographic distribution of facilities, distance between resources, etc.
  • Organizational process assets: Organizational policies and procedures for social media usage, policies and procedures risk management, and change management, organizational communication requirements, guidelines for development, exchange, storage, and retrieval of information, lessons learned repository and historical knowledge gained from the former projects are examples of OPA's used in this process.

Tools & Techniques Used in the Process

  • Communication technology: This tool includes a variety of well known options such as e-mail, phone calls and face to face meetings.
  • Cultural awareness: Understanding of differences between, cultures, individuals, groups and nations is indispensable to perform this process.
  • Political awareness: The project team and the other stakeholders may have differences in all aspects. The awareness for this should be developed and these differences should be used for the benefit of the plan communications process.
  • Communication methods: Interactive communication, pull and push communication are examples of communication methods.
  • Communication models: It shows how information is sent, received, and understood
  • Communication requirements analysis: Parallel with the complexity of the project, by conducting this analysis we decide how many communication channels should exist.
  • Communication styles assessment: It is used to identify preferred communication method and format.
  • Stakeholder engagement assessment matrix
  • Meetings
  • Expert judgment
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