Topic 5 Project communications management

Communication within a project is of primary importance, firstly because a project’s realization requires teamwork which is based on good communication, and secondly, the project needs to be steadily, consequently, effectively and appropriately communicated to stakeholders, according to their level of engagement (see “Project Stakeholder Management”).

Project Communications Management is concerned with all activities about the planned generation, collection, storage and dissemination of messages and information regarding the project to specific audiences. Its processes include:

  • Planning communications
  • Managing communications
  • Monitoring communications

Planning communications management

The first step is to create a project communications management plan, to define what will be sent, to whom, how, when, and by whom. The following factors should be considered:

  • Objective: What is the purpose of communication? Over-flooding with information can be more harmful than beneficial, therefore communication should be undertaken only when they support the project’s actual promotion and completion.
  • Audiences: Who is communication targeting? What level of information should be conveyed to each target audience? Different project stakeholders require different levels and frequency of information. Therefore a communications plan should include a list of stakeholders (e.g. team members, sponsors, customers, other interested parties, etc.) and address their communication expectations.
  • Message: The format, content (including language, level of technicality or detail), of the message for each stakeholder group should be carefully considered to ensure that relevant information is conveyed to the right people at the right time.
  • Channel: How, when and at which frequency will the message be delivered?

The communications plan should cover all stakeholders, reassure, and retain their support, as well as prevent surprises.

Managing project communications

This step involves carrying out the communications plan; namely, the collection and analysis of data as well as the generation, distribution, collection, storage/archiving, retrieval and disposal of messages. Regular reviewing and updating of the communications plan as necessary is paramount to address  changing circumstances and provided feedback/

Monitor project communications

Monitoring and controlling project communications occur throughout the project’s lifecycle and its methods and frequency are foreseen in the communications plan. It includes that the plan was implemented correctly, communication was disseminated and interpreted as planned and relevant feedback was duly provided.