Chapter Project Communications Management

Project Communications Management includes the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and ultimate disposition of project information. Project managers spend the majority of their time communicating with team members and other project stakeholders, whether they are internal (at all organizational levels) or external to the organization. Effective communication creates a bridge between diverse stakeholders involved in a project, connecting various cultural and organizational backgrounds, different levels of expertise, various perspectives and interests in the project execution or outcome.

Table 10-1 provides an overview of the Project Communications Management processes which include the following:

10.1 Identify Stakeholders—The process of identifying all people or organizations impacted by the project, and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement and impact on project success.

10.2Plan Communications—The process of determining the project stakeholder information needs and defining a communication approach.

10.3 Distribute Information—The process of making relevant information available to project stakeholders as planned.

10.4Manage Stakeholders Expectations—The process of communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs and addressing issues as they occur.

10.5Report Performance—The process of collecting and distributing performance information, including status reports, progress measurements, and forecasts.

These processes interact with each other and with processes in the other Knowledge Areas. Each process occurs at least once in every project and, if the project is divided into phases, it could occur in one or more project phases. Although the processes are presented here as discrete elements with well-defined interfaces, in practice they may overlap and interact in ways not detailed here.

Communication activity has many potential dimensions, including:

• Internal (within the project) and external (customer, other projects, the media, the public),

• Formal (reports, memos, briefings) and informal (emails, ad-hoc discussions),

• Vertical (up and down the organization) and horizontal (with peers),

• Official (news letters, annual report) and unofficial (off the record communications),

• Verbal and non-verbal (voice inflections, body language).

Communication is a general management discipline as well as a project management discipline. There are many commonalities and some specifics for project-related communication as outlined in the next sections. Most communication skills are common for general management and project management, such as, but not limited to:

• Listening actively and effectively,

Questioning, probing ideas and situations to ensure better understanding,

Educating, increasing team's knowledge so that they can be more effective,

Fact-finding to identify or confirm information,

Setting and managing expectations,

Persuading a person or organization to perform an action.

Negotiating to achieve mutually acceptable agreements between parties,

Resolving conflict to prevent disruptive impacts, and

Summarizing, recapping and identifying the next steps.

Table 10-1. Project Communications Management Overview

Project Communications Management Overview

10.1 Identify Stakeholders

1. Inputs

1. Project charter

2. Procurement document package

3 Enterprise environmental factors

4. Organizational process assets

2. Tools & Techniques

1. Stakeholder analysis

2. Expert judgment

3. Outputs

1. Stakeholder register

2. Stakeholder management strategy

10.4 Manage Stakeholder Expectations

1. Inputs

1. Stakeholder register

2. Stakeholder management strategy

3. Communications management plan

4. issue lag

5. Change log

E. Organizational process assets

2. Tools & Techniques

1. Communication methods

2. Interpersonal skills

3. Management skills

3. Outputs

1. Organizational process assets updates

2. Change requests

3. Project management plan updates

4 Project document updates

10.2 Plan C ommunic ations t. inputs

1. Stakeholder register

2. Stakeholder management strategy

3 Enterprise environmental fa ctors

4. Organizational process assets

2. Tools & Techniques

1. Communication requirements analysis

2. Communication technology

3 Communication models

4. Communication methods

3. Outputs

1 Communications management plan

2. Project document updates >_>

10.5 Report Performance

1. Inputs

1 Project management plan 2. Work performance data

3 Work performance measurements

4 Organizational process assets

2. Tools & Techniques

1. Variance analysis

2. Forecasting methods

3. Communication methods

4. Reporting systems

3. Outputs

1 Performance reports 2. Organizational process assets updates 3 Change requests

10.3 Distribute Information

1. Inputs

1. Communications management plan

2. Performance reports

3. Organizational process assets

2. Tools & Techniques

1. Communication methods

2. Information distribution tools

3. Outputs

1. Organizational process assets updates

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