About this lesson
Understand the characteristics of the major categories of project communication. Know the communication constraints typically encountered on project.
Project Communication Management Reference Guide
Project Communication Management is a very broad term that refers to all of the communication activities associated with the project. This includes team communication, stakeholder communication, management communication, and archiving of project records.
When to Conduct Communication Management
If there is more than one person on the project team or if there is a stakeholder then communication will need to happen and it needs to be managed. A communication plan should be established during the project planning phase that identifies the timing and content of team communication, management/stakeholder communication, and project record keeping requirements. This plan then needs to be followed. When there is a major issue or crisis on the project, the communication plan is often modified to increase the frequency of communication until the issue is resolved. Communication management continues throughout the project and at project closure, the communication management plan ensure that all appropriate project records are archived.
Steps for Conducting Project Communication Management
- At time of project initiation, the Project Leader should determine the need and desired medium of communication for all major stakeholders.
- As the project is being planned, the Project Leader should determine the preferred communication approach among the Core Team members.
- As the project is being planned, the Project Leader reviews organizational archiving requirements and organizational communication technologies available to the team.
- The Project Leader integrates these needs and requirements into a project communication plan that addresses the team, management/stakeholders, and project record keeping requirements.
- The Project Leader and team members follow the plan.
- The communications plan is reviewed at the beginning of each phase and changes or updates are made when necessary.
Hints and Tips
- Leverage existing communication channels and methods if they are working well.
- Most people won’t tell you when they are in trouble. If a team member “goes silent,” investigate to determine whether there is a project issue or another personal or organizational issue that could create a project problem.
- Don’t forget the project records and archiving requirements. Trying to recreate project records after-the-fact is often very difficult.
- If you have a stakeholder who periodically interjects themselves into the project to “find out what is happening” and causes confusion and disruption, meet with that stakeholder and create a communication approach that satisfies their curiosity and reduces the project disruption.
- There are numerous technologies for for sharing documents and communications (both hardware and software). These are rapidly changing. If the technology is commonly used by your project team and stakeholders, use it. If they don’t use the technology, imposing it on them may create more problems than benefits.
- Communication Management: “The processes that are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring and the ultimate disposition of project information.” PMBOK® Guide
This definition is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013.
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PMI, PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.