Communications Management

Crafting a Successful Project Communications Plan

Imagine you're managing a project to develop a new website for a client. The project involves various stakeholders, including your web development team, the client's team, and third-party vendors. In such a scenario, Plan Communications Management, a crucial process in project management, becomes your roadmap for ensuring everyone stays on the same page.

This process develops an approach and plan for project communications activities, tailored to the information needs of each stakeholder or group, available organizational assets, and the project's needs. For instance, your web developers might need detailed technical updates, while your client might prefer high-level progress reports. The main advantage of this process is that it provides a documented approach for engaging stakeholders effectively and efficiently, ensuring everyone understands their roles, responsibilities, and the project's status.

Engaging stakeholders is achieved by presenting relevant information in a timely manner. This process is performed periodically throughout the project as required. An effective communications management plan is developed early in the project life cycle to cater to the diverse information needs of the project's stakeholders.

The communications management plan should be reviewed regularly and modified when necessary. Changes in the stakeholder community or the start of a new project phase may necessitate modifications to the communications management plan. Communications planning is typically performed early in most projects, during the stages of stakeholder identification and project initiation.

All projects require communication of project information, but the information needs and distribution methods can differ significantly. Therefore, it's necessary to consider and document the methods for storing, retrieving, and disposing of project information.

Reflecting on our website development project example, it's clear that the results of the Plan Communications Management process should be regularly reviewed throughout the project. As the project progresses, these results may need to be revised to ensure continued applicability. For example, as the website nears completion, the client might need more detailed updates to prepare for the launch. This ensures that the communications management plan remains effective and relevant throughout the project life cycle, helping to drive the project towards a successful conclusion.