Communication is the key to any working relationship, and effective planning of communication is the key to the success of any project, however big or small it may be and irrespective of its scope and size.
Project Communication Plan is a detailed document that outlines the communication involved at every stage of the project with the stakeholders, client, project manager, and team members.
Poor communication is one of the major reasons for scope gaps, which are misunderstandings or differences in the expectation of the project outcome. This results in a waste of time and resources, and might lead to project failure. So here are a few reasons to consider Project Communication Plan
With Project Communication Plan there is a documented schedule for communication. This helps to set expectations on timelines for all concerned parties and facilitates a cohesive and seamless workflow.
It helps with the visibility of the stakeholders since they know when and how they will receive relevant information about the project at every stage, just by referring to the Project Communication Plan.
As the project grows, there is always a chance for scope creep. Readiness to face unforeseen changes is imperative to project handling. With timely feedback any changes or deviations can be corrected, hence saving heavy workloads at the end stages of the project.
By planning the meetings wait time is reduced for the approvals. There is little need or scope for scheduling new meetings and unnecessary meetings are eliminated, hence Project Communication Plan increases productivity.
For large projects, a vast amount of communication must be exchanged among the project team members. The challenge is to ensure effective communication and to avoid information overload. Hence Project communication Strategy plays a huge role in the communication plan.
And it needs to be devised before starting the project communication processes. To strategize the project communication, we need to identify the following levels of communication flow.
Internal communication – it is the day-to-day communication between the project team members. This could be both formal and informal communication.
External communication – this type of communication takes place between the project team members and the clients. It usually communicates project goals, objectives, requirements, and updates.
Corporate communication – the engagement between organizations working together.
Communication planning is simply handling information and delivering the right amount at the right time and a good strategy follows this basic outline,
The problem statement – the information that needs to be relayed
The Target audience – the recipients of the information
Communication channel – how and when the information will be received
Feedback – measuring the efficiency of the practice
With the strategy we discussed above, let’s see how to write a Project Communication Plan. Plans vary for different projects based on their need and scope. But the important elements remain the same. Here is the step-by-step process of writing one.
Identifying the communication needs
Projects will require different forms of communication in different phases. Identify the participants and key players in each phase and the kind of communication that will be required.
For example, the pre-planning phase will require extensive communication between the client, the stakeholder, and the project manager. During the execution phase, there might be less involvement from the client and more by the working team members.
Focus on formal communication, which could be recorded and referred to when in need. Some things are just fine being shared as an E-mail report, but other times a phone call is necessary and there is always an occasion for a face-to-face meeting. Hence it is important to identify the best-suited mode of communication.
Be it team bonding or feedback session from the stakeholders or a status call on the project to check if the expectations are met. Clearly defining the goal of a meeting in the Project Communication Plan is required to provide clarity for the project members.
Name the project and describe the goal
Including the project goal in the plan ensures that there is no deviation and makes it easy to check the alignment for any process at any given schedule.
Identifying Key Stakeholders
Different stakeholders will be involved in different stages of the project. Identify all the stakeholders and collate the information on how and when to reach them. It will be helpful if it is listed in the form of an information table, along with their roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
Here is a sample Stakeholders Information Table
Communication Schedule for the Project
Identify the agenda of the meetings you want to have throughout the project and along with the frequency of their occurrences and the participants. Preferred mode and best-suited mode can also be included in the plan.
Here is a sample of the Project Communication Plan
Creating a Consolidated Doc
Create a consolidated document for the Project Team Communication Plan where everyone involved in the project can have visibility. Make sure the confidential information is hidden. Try not to create a plan with too many details which would become difficult to read and interpret. Make your plan simple yet comprehensive which encompasses all relevant details.
If you are looking to learn more about Project Management and get a certification from PMI to move ahead in your career check out our Project in Controlled Environment Training Certification Course.
We are a globally recognized ATO [An accredited training organization] called Sprintzeal. One of the most trusted institutes providing training in Project Management as we have trained 10,000+ individuals around the world. Chat with our course expert to get full details about the program.
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