The Project Communications Plan

The project communications plan can be formal or informal, depending on the needs of the project stakeholders and the size of the project. Regardless, communication is vital for a successful project. It is important that all of the project stakeholders know how their interests stand in relation to the project's progress.

Developing a communications plan starts with identifying the various stakeholders of the project and their information needs. Recall that stakeholder analysis helps the project manager and project team determine the different interests and roles of each of the stakeholders. Although some of the information contained in the stakeholder analysis may not be suitable for general dissemination, it provides a starting point for identifying who needs what information and when. Keep in mind that even stakeholders who may have a vested interest in the project not succeeding must be kept informed. Otherwise, a lack of communication and information can result in an attitude that "no news must be bad news," or speculation and frivolous assumptions that the project is in trouble.

The project communications plan can be in a table format similar to Figure 9.1. The idea behind this analysis is to determine:

• Who has specific information needs?

• What are those information needs?

• How will a particular stakeholder's information needs be met?

• When can a stakeholder expect to receive this information?

• How will this information be received?

This format helps clarify what all of the stakeholders know and what they still need to know. The following describes each of the areas for developing the communications plan:

Stakeholder

Information Requirements

Type o f Report/Metric

Timing/ Availability

Medium or Format

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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