Project Management Communication Plan: Definition & Example

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rahman Johnson

Rahman is a TV News Anchor with a Master's Degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership.

Everybody needs to talk to somebody at some time, but are we communicating effectively? That's where a project management communications plan comes in, as it helps you plan what information you need to relay to the people who need it.

Project Management Communications

Understanding the function and processes of project management will make it much easier to develop and implement a project management communication plan. Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills, and experience to achieve a project's objectives. Creating a project management communication plan takes the major points of project management and applies those points to effective communication.

Imagine you have a major luncheon for a group like Habitat for Humanity. You're the chair of a fundraiser. Like any event, things will happen that you didn't plan for when you least expect them. Caterers could cancel. Ticket sales may be lagging. Your speaker has to change flight details, but still the show must go on. So how do you manage to get all of the information you need to the right people at the right time? You need a communications plan. That way you can structure how you talk with people inside and outside of your group.

There are five major steps for creating a project management communication plan:

  1. Planning and initiation
  2. Input
  3. Tools
  4. Techniques (or monitoring and controlling)
  5. Output

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  • 1:17 Taking the Steps
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Taking the Steps

In order for any project management communications effort to be successful, you have to do an information dump to ensure that you can effectively plan. Preparing the plan means that you have to make some assumptions so that you can define who you need to speak with and how you want to speak with them.

In the planning phase, the first order of business is to answer some questions, such as:

  • Who is your audience? Is your plan oriented toward the masses or a pre-determined group?
  • What does your audience need to know? Is there a call to action?
  • How often does your audience need information? Is there an event that will trigger communication?
  • Who's responsible for getting the information out?
  • How will the information be communicated?

Once you have answered these questions, you can move on with the plan and start preparing the content for distribution.

So, now that you know the direction that you will be taking, you now have to find out what input you'll need to make sure that the information you have is correct and necessary. You have to evaluate your target audience and what they need to know. Once you can define who you are talking to and what they need, you'll be much better prepared for ensuring that you have the best possible information getting to the people who need it most. Additionally, defining how you'll get the information is important to making sure that you get the right details out in a timely manner.

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