International Project Management Day




Communication Plan: Status, Meetings, Info Access, and Reviews


Quick Summary
Screenshot A brief plan created by the project team, documenting how they will communicate important information, including meetings, status reports, etc. The plan covers internal team communications and external stakeholder communications.


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What this is

A plan created by the team early in project to indicate their agreement on how the team will communicate important information during the project - status, meetings, issues, deliverables access, and design/document reviews.


Why it's useful

Successful projects involve significant amounts of communication among various team members. A Communication Plan is used to help the team think through what kind of communication mechanisms they will need for a successful project. It helps establish expectations of proactive communication between team members and documents what the team agrees to do: what status reporting will be done, what team meetings will be held, how decisions will get documented, who will participate in various reviews. The Communication Plan not only makes it clear to the core team how the project communication will work; it also lets people outside the core team know what to expect. It can also document communication that should occur between related projects.

If your project will make use of outside partners, the Communications Plan can also be very important for documenting the communication necessary to stay aligned and synchronized with the partner.


How to use it

Use the outline in the sample document to create a communication plan for your project. The amount of communication may vary depending on the size of your team and the complexity and nature of your project. General guidelines for deciding your team communication strategies:

  • Identify the stakeholders who need to be involved in project communication. Don't forget executive sponsors, outside clients and partners/vendors, and cross-functional team members, in addition to core team members.

  • Think about what mechanisms will ensure the best communication for your particular company and team. Are team members scattered across locations? If so, what tools do you need to aid information transfer (e.g. online collaboration spaces, teleconference access, email distribution lists)?

  • Decide how often your team needs to communicate in such areas as status, action item tracking, and project plan updates. Document how it will be done in the plan.

  • Make sure you understand what information Management wants to receive, and how often.

  • Pay attention to design reviews, especially those that need to involve the entire team (or core team) in some fashion. Make sure minimum expectations for reviews of designs and deliverables are established in the communication plan.

  • Identify how the team will involve contractors or outside developers in team meetings, project status tracking, and reviews. Manage off-site and part-time resources carefully. Watch for warning signs related to their participation, such as missing or late deliverables.

  • Consider also any ground-rules for "informal communication" such as emails, informal conversations etc. Much information gets exchanged (and decisions made!) in informal settings. Ensure all team members have the right access to this informal communication, and that the team is aware of any need to document decisions, share the results of such communication with others, etc. Guidelines can be established for things such as max response time to emails or voice mails, which can have huge productivity impacts in a virtual team environment!

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