Managing Project Communication
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by Arindam Ghosh
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Tools and Techniques of proper Communication planning

Communication Requirements Analysis

The complete information needs of all the stakeholders are provided as a result of the communication requirement analysis. These requirements are defined by combining the type and format of information needed with an analysis of the value of that information. Project resources are expended only on communicating information that contributes to success or where a lack of communication can lead to failure. This is not to prevent failures to be communicated but to prevent over-loading stakeholders with irrelevant information.

Communications Management Plan

The communication management plan provides relevant information to all stakeholders about how the project communication is to be handled. The communications management plan is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan. The communications management plan provides:

Stakeholder communication requirements

·         Information to be communicated, including format, content and level of detail

·         Person responsible for communicating the information

·         Person or groups who will receive the information

·         Methods or technologies used to convey the information, such as memoranda, email, and/ r press releases

·         Frequency of the communication, such as weekly

·         Escalation process- identifying time frames and the management chain (names) for escalation of issues that cannot be resolved at a lower staff level

·         Methods for updating and refining the communications management plan as the project progresses and develops

·         Glossary of common terminology

The communication management plan can also include guidelines for alternate communication methods such as project status meetings, project team meetings, e-meetings, and email. The communications management plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, and based on the needs of the project.

Sample attributes of a communications management plan include:

Communications item

- The information that will be distributed to stakeholders

Purpose

- The reason for the distribution of that information

Frequency

- How often that information will be distributed

Start/end dates

- The time frame for the distribution of the information

Format/ medium

- The layout of the information and the method of transmission

Responsibility

This is for the assigned team member who is charged with the distribution of information. Communication Planning often entails creation of additional deliverables that, in turn, require additional time and effort. Thus, the project’s work breakdown structure, project schedule, and project budget are updated accordingly.


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