I've talked a good deal about documentation so far, and this topic will continue to come up throughout the remainder of the book. "Is that documented?" should be an ever-present question on the mind of the project manager. Documentation can save your bacon, so to speak, later in the project. Documentation is only one side of the equation, though—communication is the other. You and your stakeholders need to know who gets what information and when.
The Plan Communications process involves determining the communication needs of the stakeholders by defining the types of information needed, the format for communicating the information, how often it's distributed, and who prepares it. All of this is documented in the communications management plan, which is an output of this process.
The inputs to the Plan Communications process will look familiar to you. They are as follows:
■ Stakeholder register
■ Stakeholder management strategy
■ Enterprise environmental factors
■ Organizational process assets
The stakeholder register and stakeholder management strategy should give you a lot of insight into the communication needs of the stakeholders. The stakeholder register is a list of all the project stakeholders and includes additional information including their potential influence on the project and their classification. The stakeholder management strategy defines the level of participation needed for each stakeholder and potential strategies you can use to gain their support or reduce the negative impacts or obstacles they could present to the project.
The PMBOK® Guide notes that all the elements described in the enterprise environmental factors and in the organizational process assets are inputs to this process. However, special note is made of the lessons learned and historical information elements of the organizational process assets input. Information you learn as you're progressing through the project is documented as lessons learned. This information is helpful for future projects of similar scope and complexity. Historical information is also useful to review when starting the Plan Communications process. Either of these documents might contain information
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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.