Creating the Communications Plan

Based on stakeholder analysis, the project manager and the project team can determine what communications are needed. There's no advantage to supplying stakeholders with information that isn't needed or desired, and the time spent creating and delivering such information is a waste of resources.

A communications management plan can organize and document the process, types, and expectations of communications. It provides the following:

• The stakeholder communications requirements in order to communicate the appropriate information as demanded by the stakeholders.

• Information on what is to be communicated. This plan includes the expected format, content, and detail—think project reports versus quick e-mail updates.

• Details on how needed information flows through the project to the correct individuals. The communication structure documents where the information will originate, to whom the information will be sent, and in what modality the information is acceptable.

• Appropriate methods for communicating include e-mails, memos, reports, and even press releases.

• Schedules of when the various types of communication should occur. Some communications, such as status meetings, should happen on a regular schedule, while other communications may be prompted by conditions within the project.

• Escalation processes and time frames for moving issues upwards in the organization when they can't be solved at lower levels.

• Methods to retrieve information as needed.

• Instructions on how the communications management plan can be updated as the project progresses.

The communications plan may also include information and guidelines for project status meetings, team meetings, e-meetings (that's electronic meetings, not meetings about the letter e), and even e-mail. Setting expectations for communications and meetings early in the project establishes guidelines for the project team and stakeholders.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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