Communication Matrix in Project Management

Instructor: Olga Bugajenko

Olga is a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner and has a master's degree in project management.

For project managers, project communication can mean managing a nearly endless stream of emails, meetings, and phone calls. In this lesson, you will learn how a communication matrix can help project managers stay organized.

What is Communication Matrix?

Imagine you have a gig as a project coordinator for a snack food company called Quick Fix. Its latest business venture involves expanding into the French market, and your project manager has just handed you the task of creating a communication plan for the project. Where to start? Well, first let's define the term communication.

Communication is, essentially, the effective sending and receiving of information. In order to share the right information about the project with the right people in an effective and timely manner, it is necessary to devise a communication plan for the project.

Without a communication plan, it is easy for the project manager to forget to share the information with stakeholders or exclude one of the groups from communications. In your case, the project will be taking place across different countries. Therefore, it could become extremely easy for the project manager to exclude the overseas team from the communication- unless proper communication planning is carried out.

Therefore, as project coordinator, your main job will be managing communication between the various stakeholders, i.e. all groups of people participating or affected by the project, on both sides of the Atlantic.

You tackle the first step of your task by identifying the main stakeholder groups and their information needs. So far, your list includes a project manager, a project sponsor, project team members, other functional managers from the organization, suppliers, customers, regulatory authorities, and possibly more. Now, all you need is a plan to keep the communication lines open.

A good communication plan for a project should consider what type of information is being shared, who is it being shared with, and how often this information sharing is happening. You can organize all of these variables by putting them into a table known as a communication matrix.

A communication matrix is a document summarizing the communication management plan for a project. To remain effective, the communication matrix must be accessible to all stakeholders and updated throughout the project. Let's look at one way a matrix can be formatted.

Composition of Communication Matrix

A communication matrix includes the following information:

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