Eight Steps to Create a Communications Plan

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Communications Plans are important for projects with many stakeholders. The Communication Plan is especially important if your project has an element of organizational change management.

Think about the following eight steps as you create the plan.

Communications Plan

  1. Communications Objectives

    List the top three objectives that you want to achieve from your project communications.

    For instance, you might want to inform stakeholders of the project progress, boost management buy-in or improve your team productivity.

  2. Communications Guidelines

    Then set out your communications guidelines for controlling communications within your project. For example, you may decide that:

    • All messages will be distributed through pre-defined channels

    • All critical communications will be pre-approved by management

    • All communications will be tailored, based on stakeholder needs

  3. Target Audience

    Now define exactly who it is that your team will formally communicate with. Remember, formal communications are a method for controlling the messages sent out by your team.

    They promote a single consistent view of your project to a specified audience so that everyone has the same version of the truth.

  4. Stakeholder Needs

    Each target audience group will have their own needs. These stakeholders will require information that is specific to their role in the project.

    For instance, a Project Sponsor will need to be informed of high priority risks and issues, whereas a Quality Reviewer might need to be notified of the current status of project deliverables.

  5. Key Messages

    Then list the key messages that need to be sent to each Stakeholder. Key messages may include project status, project issues, project risks, project deliverables or project resources.

    The next step is to define how you will deliver each message to them, through a delivery channel.

  6. Delivery Channels

    There are a huge variety of ways in which you can deliver your key messages to stakeholders (e.g. emails, newsletters, meetings, conferences).

    For each stakeholder, identify the channel that you will use to deliver your key messages.

  7. Communications Schedule

    Now you are ready to create the schedule of communications events, activities and actions that are required to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time throughout the project.

  8. Assessment

    And finally, once you have listed the events and described them in detail, you need to identify who will manage them and who will review their effectiveness.

Once you have taken these eight steps, it is up to you to execute it to deliver communications efficiently across your project.

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This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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