Resource Index > People Management > Communicating

Communicating

Communication is the glue that holds an organization together. Without clear, timely, unambiguous communication, even a small, co-located team will struggle. If the team is distributed geographically, poor communication will render an already challenging situation nearly impossible to control. The resources collected here will help you manage your project communication intelligently -- including communication planning, gathering and communicating status, meeting management, and project documentation and reporting.

This is only a partial collection; see our full list of project communication templates for more. See also our Know How page on Project Documentation.

How can we help you improve your Project Communication?

Examples of Meeting Agendas and Status Reports
Recording and communicating project information can be overwhelming -- especially for if people feel like they have to read the collected works of Shakespeare in order to find out the current project status. These examples show how several different real-world project teams managed to communicate important project information like status, meeting notes, and issues without drowning in paperwork. For more examples, check out our Know-How for Requirements and Change Management or Tracking and Control, among others.

For Guests
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For Members
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  • PM Appointment Letter
    Letter template announcing the appointment of a project manager to a newly-approved project and expressing sponsor support for it.
  • Multi-Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda
    Sample agenda for a meeting kicking off several projects at once, to launch a portfolio or orient (or re-orient) a team to their project set, relative priorities, and how it all fits in with business objectives.
  • Team Meetings Descriptions Sample
    Check out one team's approach in their meeting-phobic environment; describing their critical "types" meetings in a way that portrays their practicality and value.
  • Executive Summary of Project Status/Risks
    An at-a-glance summary that quickly shows execs how the project is doing and what help is needed.
  • Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda
    A sample agenda for a lessons learned meeting, to capture what did or didn't go well on a project, how to replicate success, and what to do differently in the future.
  • Speaking Truth to Power
    This case study by Randall Englund details how one project manager managed the impossible by creating a compelling picture of the urgent issues, a definite plan to address them, and a clear vision of the final results.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
  • Project or Software Release One-Page Summary
    One-page format for communicating key information about a software release (or any other kind of project).
  • Sample Team Meeting Agenda
    Sample project team agenda, with emphasis on using objectives and timeslots to keep meetings effective.
  • Milestone Table with Driver Tasks
    Formats for a milestone table including the completion dates and the status of major driving tasks for each milestone. The second format also includes a column indicating the completion criteria and success factors for the milestone.
  • Project Alternatives Tradeoff Table
    This table gives your team a concise way to document (and communicate!) the alternatives you are considering for scope and features, and the impact of various combinations on the project's cost, schedule, resources, and risk.
  • Project Status Reports
    Several different one-page document formats for getting a true picture of a project or portfolio at a glance, and a presentation format for talking to management.
  • Project and Pipeline Status Report - 3 page format
    Comprehensive but concise and easily-scanned status report for reporting to management. Includes project summary status, detailed status, and an overall pipeline status dashboard.
  • Issue Resolution Status Report
    Format for reporting progress on work to resolve one or more open issues (e.g. project or technical issues).
  • Project Scorecard
    This one-page worksheet helps teams define the project finish line in clear, measurable terms. The format encourages measurable goals, go/no-go criteria, long-term progress reports, and active risk mitigation.
  • Recommendation Template
    Craft an organized, well documented recommendation to proceed with a given business solution or alternative. It includes all of the key components needed to make an informed decision about whether or not to endorse or approve the recommendation.
Other Options
  • Project Status Reports Bundle
    This bundle provides more than 20 variations on status report formats for different situations, many with sample data so you can see the level of detail other teams and managers use.
Guidelines and Suggestions for Project Communication
Effective communicating includes much more than just infrastructure, like telephone, e-mail, file sharing, and collaboration tools. Effective communication moves information across functional boundaries in a form that creates a common understanding. Use these guidelines to plan good communication into your project from the very beginning. The resources here cover everything from meeting management and communication norms to effective status reporting and infrastructure considerations. You might also want to check out Know How pages on Project Documentation and Tracking and Control.

For Guests
These resources are available to everyone, no login required.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
Other Options
  • Check out our list of books on communicating.
  • Meeting Management Bundle
    The Meeting Management Bundle is a fast path to fundamental techniques and real world tools that will make sure your meetings are effective, attended (!), and even heralded far and wide as the most effective team collaboration time in town.
  • Project Kickoff Bundle
    This bundle covers critical inputs to any Project Kickoff, plus tools for getting your team and executives working together quickly and effectively to clarify project goals.
  • Project Closeout and "Lessons Learned" Bundle
    This bundle of closeout resources will help you and your team work through everything that's happened, document the results, and share them with everyone who needs to know -- which is usually everyone.
  • Communicating Up the Chain to Resolve Big Issues, a mini-course with DeAnna Burghart
    This course explains the importance of issue escalation processes and the many ways they can help your team, beyond just faster issue resolution. 1 PDU
  • Staying In Touch and Staying In Sync: Planning Project Communication, a mini-course with DeAnna Burghart
    This course guides you through the process of developing your own project communication plan by focusing on key elements like who, what, when, and how, rather than how many pages of documentation you should generate. 1 PDU
Typical Communication Issues and Answers to Common Questions
You need to keep your team armed with the information they need, without drowning them in excess detail or starving them of important facts. You need to make the precious time spent on meetings, presentations, and reviews more effective. You need to resolve conflicts without dissolving the team or losing valuable experience. These resources will help. You might also want to check out Know How pages on Conflict and Issue Management, Team Building and Virtual Teams.

For Guests
These resources are available to everyone, no login required.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Meeting Evaluation Guidelines
    A simple evaluation questionnaire and process helps evaluate meeting effectiveness and suggest goals for improvement. Two formats accommodate formal or informal meeting environments.
  • Best Practices from Experiences in Facilitating Virtual Meetings
    This paper identifies the lessons learned from facilitating over 100 virtual meetings for the U.S. Navy, ranging from idea-generation and planning to status briefings and collaborative writing, and almost everything in between.
  • Tools for Teams: Beyond the Email Bottleneck
    The spec you're supposed to review has gone missing; there are three different versions of the project plan floating around and the remote team doesn't have any of them. Clearly, email is not enough. It's time to take the tools management process seriously.
  • Guidelines: Personality Types Impact on Team Interactions
    A guideline explaining how an understanding of the "personality types" of your team members can be useful for avoiding conflict and promoting effective collaboration among your team members, who may differ in the way they perceive and organize information, communicate, and make decisions.
  • Getting Relevant to Get Results
    Project management tools and talk can leave technical contributors bored, resistant, or outright rebellious. Are project managers and technical team members hopelessly far apart? Or do we just have a language and perspective problem?
  • A User's Guide to Working with Me
    Do you know what makes your team tick? Could they say the same? This quick chart helps team members communicate their most effective modes of work, including hot buttons, trust-builders, the best ways to raise and resolve conflicts, and more.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
Other Options
  • Check out our list of books on communicating.
  • Speaking Up! Influence Skills for Getting What You Need, a mini-course with DeAnna Burghart
    This short course and related guideline will help you bolster confidence and develop the most effective case possible in every venue available to you, by learning what motivates people to help and how to build an effective and succinct case. 1 PDU
  • Tracking and Managing the Performance of Virtual Teams, a mini-course with Cinda Voegtli
    No matter where your team members are located or who they report to, there are several easy forms of tracking and communication you can use ensure that the right work is getting done at the right time. With the techniques and examples discussed in this session, you can be confident of where your project really stands. 1 PDU
  • It's So NOT About Authority: Critical Influence Skills for PMs
    In this 90-minute session, ProjectConnections founder Cinda Voegtli explains how to identify your current influence shortfalls and do something about them fast. 1.5 PDUs



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