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Project Management Templates for Communications Planning

January 29 2007

Project Management Templates to Create a Communications Plan

Communicating is easy right?

Well it’s a surprise to some Project Managers that a common cause of project failure is the lack of clear communications within a project. To ensure that communication within your project is clear, concise, relevant and timely – you will need to create a  “Communications Plan” using project management templates. Within this article, you can read…

4 easy steps to creating a Communications Plan

The Communications Plan describes the information that must be disseminated to all project stakeholders, to keep them regularly informed of the project’s progress.

To begin, you first need to identify all of the stakeholders who require regular information about the status of the project. Then, identify the information requirements of each stakeholder group. Create a schedule for the dissemination of that information to those stakeholders throughout the Online Project Management Lifecycle. And finally, define the process for delivering communications throughout the project. Here is a more detailed description of each step you need to take:

Step 1: List the Communications Stakeholders

Effective communication is all about distributing “the right information to the right people at the right time.” To identify the right people with whom to communicate, you will need to create a list of the communications stakeholders. A communications stakeholder is a person inside or outside the project, who requires regular information about the project status. For instance, a Project Sponsor needs to be kept informed of the overall progress of the project, while an external body may need to be kept informed of the legislative or regulatory compliance of the project.

Step 2: Identify the Communications Requirements

Now that you have identified the stakeholders, you need to describe their requirements for information regarding the progress of the project. For instance, they may require information relating to the project status, risks, issues, changes, performance and delivery against target.

Step 3: Build a Communications Schedule

You now have the information needed to communicate “the right information to the right people” as part of communications management. To ensure that you communicate it “at the right time,” you need to build a schedule of communications activities. Communications activities are groups of tasks that are undertaken to disseminate project information to stakeholders in order to keep them regularly informed of the progress of the project. Examples of the activities you may need to schedule include: press releases, newsletters, Project Status Reports, presentations, website news releases and internal project memos.

Step 4: Define the Communications Process

Now that you have created a detailed Communications Schedule, you need to define the process for monitoring and controlling the communications undertaken throughout the project.  Define the Communications Management Process for your project by documenting the:

  • Purpose of the process
  • Steps involved in undertaking the process
  • Roles and responsibilities involved in undertaking the process
  • Templates used to support the process

And that’s it! If you would like to download a Communications Plan or Communications Management Process project management templates to help you to keep your project stakeholders properly informed, then please select the relevant link.