Creating the Communications Plan - Project Management

communications plan

Documents the types of information needs the stakeholders have, when the information should be distributed, and how the information will be delivered.

We've done a quite a bit of documentation already, so it's probably a good time to talk about the communications plan. The communications plan describes who gets what information and when. The who includes stakeholders, project team members, customers, management staff, and others who may have a specific interest or role in your project. The what includes the project documentation, project plans, status reports, status review meetings, scope statement and scope statement revisions, performance measures, acceptance criteria, change requests, and more. And, of course, the when describes how often the communications are produced, when status review meetings are scheduled, and so on.

The communications plan is documented early on in the Planning process. You want to identify all the people who need to know and understand the project progress as early in the project as possible. The communications plan also documents how to collect, file, and archive project communications as well as the distribution methods you'll use to get the information to the stakeholders. This includes how stakeholders can get access to project communication between the established publish dates.

You can create the communications plan in a simple document format listing the who, what, and when like the example template below. Distribute a copy of the plan to everyone listed in the document. This document is a good place to note the location of the intranet site and the types of information people can access there. Figure 4.1 provides a template for such a document.

List all the project communications on this template such as status reports, minutes, change requests, the project planning documents, etc. Identify the people who will receive copies of the communication and how the document will be published. Some information might be distributed via e-mail, others posted to the intranet site, etc. Note how often the information will be distributed and who is responsible for preparing the information. Post the communications plan to the intranet site or file a copy in the project notebook.

Now that we've created the scope statement, we're off to the next stop in the Planning process, which is the identification of tasks and activities.


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