Project management will unarguably be an impossible task if you don’t have a dexterous project manager, an adequate number of executives, the right tools, etc. at your disposal.
This could be the case with start-ups, considering their budget-related problems. But the question that comes to mind is:
‘Why do business projects of global organizations struggle, especially when all the bases are covered?’
Well, you can blame ‘A lack of effective communication’ for this!
As per the report surfaced on the internet, 37% of projects fail because of undefined project objectives and milestones. Another one has revealed that 50% of failed projects had a budget of over a million US dollars.
Now, you are likely to get why having a project management communication plan in place isn’t an optional choice for businesses. Today, I am going to explain bits and pieces of project communication plan, so buckle up:
Table of Contents [Hide]
Why Should You Make a Project Communication Plan?
How to Create a Project Communication Plan
- Identify the project’s communication needs
- Have clear communication goals
- Choose a communication method
- Set frequency of communication
- Identify stakeholders
- Unexpected confusion
- Not revealing expectations
- Inconsistency in operations
- How to Use a Project Communication Plan
- Don’t be drowned in the details
- Use a reliable project management tool
- Update your plan according to the situation
- Never put classified information at risk
What Is a Project Communication Plan?
A project communication plan is a blueprint you follow for the sake of a meaningful dialogue with clients, teams, and other concerned stakeholders. It has all the information on how project-concerned people will convey requisite details, who’s accountable for which task, and which authorities must be looped in project communications.
Why Should You Make a Project Communication Plan?
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.– Lee Iacocca
As we know, a perfect project plan lifts the odds of success. But, ask yourself, ‘Will it be executed perfectly amidst the chaos that occurred due to poor communication?’
Your conscience must be giving a negative response to this. Your project plan loses its effectiveness when there is no back-and-forth of pertinent information.
At this juncture, a well-developed project management communication plan comes to the picture, as it:
- Encourages stakeholders to meet expected deadlines
- Increases visibility of each project
- Creates opportunities to share feedback on the project progress
- Promises meaningful team meetings
- Ensures every project executive obeys work guidelines
How to Create a Project Communication Plan
The purpose of project communication plan must be clear by now. So, it’s time to move one step forward and learn how to develop a project communication plan.
1. Identify the Project’s Communication Needs
You get different kinds of projects to handle, so your communication plan should be different too.
Write down factors like the size of the project, its nature, clients’ requirements, etc. on paper, as they are the crucial ingredients that will help you develop a project communication plan perfectly.
In short, identify your project’s communication needs and act accordingly to create an ideal plan for your team.
2. Have Clear Communication Goals
The major disadvantage of not having a project communication plan is you will never be able to maintain the pace of the development process. It can really affect your chances of meeting deadlines or influence client relationships negatively.
Shooting a multitude of emails or conducting team meetings unnecessarily won’t help your cause either.
So, create a plan based on clear communication goals. It will help you convey all the important information to the right people and at the right time.
3. Choose a Communication Method
To develop a perfect project management communication plan, you must zero in on the ways necessary to share relevant information.
You can consider these communication methods: ‘Collaboration apps,’ ‘Formal presentations,’ ‘Status reports,’ and ‘Video conferencing.’
Don’t take this factor lightly, because your communication method depends on the type of information you want to relay. For instance, you don’t need to hold a formal meeting to share project updates, as sending status reports will be enough.
4. Set Frequency of Communication
While creating a project communication plan, you must define how many times an exchange of information should take place. It is because setting an inapt frequency of communication could cause you and your project unnecessary trouble.
Besides, asking for updates on a regular basis could send a wrong signal to your workforce that you don’t trust them. It could bring negativity in the work environment, which further hampers the project development process.
Ideally, you should communicate your agenda on Mondays, so your project team can work in their preferred manner throughout the week.
5. Identify Stakeholders
Identifying stakeholders is a very important step of creating an ideal project management communication plan. It is because project managers already have too much on their plate, so leaving the communication part only to them could be problematic.
This could be the reason why having deft team leaders in place is crucial to make projects successful. They can handle maximum project communications, so managers can step in when the situation is critical.
Putting all things together, list the stakeholders with whom you’re going to coordinate with until the successful project delivery and also mention how they would communicate with other teams.
How Would You Know Your Project Communication Plan Isn’t Good Enough?
If you’re creating a project management communication plan for the first time, you must be eager to know whether your created plan will work or not. Here are the top 3 factors that will let you know the effectiveness of your plan:
1. Unexpected Confusion
The purpose of a project communication plan is to show a crystal-clear picture to teams, not produce chaos. Your project team will get confused if your plan isn’t thorough and easy to understand.
So, wipe out superfluous details from your plan to enable your team to communicate effectively throughout the project life cycle.
2. Not Revealing Expectations
If your plan is not talking about your expectations, it will be good for nothing. It is because if your project team doesn’t have an idea about your vision, they are unlikely to perform in an expected way.
Hence, make sure you define job roles and responsibilities in an idoneous manner, as that’s the key to revealing your expectations in the first place.
3. Inconsistency in Operations
The common goal of mapping out things is to bring consistency in the project development process. So, if you see some project executives are completing their assignments before the allotted time, even on the trot, and others are falling behind persistently, then it means you haven’t divided work uniformly.
Thus, refine your communication plan to eradicate hidden loopholes and bring consistency in work operations, consequently.
How to Use a Project Communication Plan
Well, you have now learned how to create a project communication plan, so let’s understand the execution process.
Distribute your project management communication plan in your team, so everyone uses it and shares updates via different methods mentioned above. It will save you from the trouble of skimming through messy email threads or walking over to executives’ workspace for an update.
Read the following details properly to learn how to ensure that the purpose of project communication plan gets served:
1. Don’t Be Drowned in the Details
To make your projects successful, it is important to ensure that your team adheres to your communication plan. But mandating to share every small detail could cause you unnecessary trouble. It is because when you communicate too much and too often, the chances of being ignored get increased.
So, shift your focus to clarity from minutiae, and it will pave the way for a meaningful dialogue for sure.
In addition, stay to the point while dropping a mail to your team. You can even create an email template to give a gentle reminder on the projects’ most important aspects while sharing any new information.
2. Use a Reliable Project Management Tool
Using a reliable project management tool like ProProfs Project is vital to make your communication plan successful. It helps teams in different divisions to collaborate on a single platform, which, in turn, keeps communication gaps at bay.
There are many features that will help you realize how well you’ve been using your project management communication plan, such as:
- Gantt charts
- Time tracking
- Task comments
All in all, if you want to leave no stones unturned while using your project communication plan, deploy project management software and exploit it to its full potential.
3. Update Your Plan According to the Situation
Scope creep is one of those factors that can create an unfavorable situation and jeopardize your project. Therefore, make changes in your communication plan according to the situation and stay on the track, consequently.
It is imperative to note that making hay while the sun shines is a much better option than paying the price for being adamant with respect to revising your communication plan.
What’s more, if change requests are valid and matter too much to clients, saying ‘No’ is just like breaking the association and giving an invitation to negative reviews. It will tarnish your business’s reputation before bringing a curtain over it.
All things considered, realign your communication plan to the revised project specifications.
4. Never Put Classified Information at Risk
During the project development process, the need of conveying both sensitive and non-sensitive takes place. But you cannot drop your guard while sharing classified information, as a data breach can bring your business’s integrity into question.
To use your communication plan without putting classified information at risk, your plan must have a flowchart that guides you on how to share confidential information and with whom.
Believe it or not, it will prevent legal issues to a large extent and build your business’s credibility significantly.
Are You Ready to Bridge Communication Gaps With a Perfect Plan?
In the business world, the email channel is the most used communication medium. But this aspect has a dark side too, and that is, you sometimes miss crucial information while going through a pile of unread emails. It creates confusion and affects work progress negatively later on.
As per the report by Statista, 293.6 billion emails were exchanged in 2019 alone, and this number is likely to surpass 347.3 billion by 2023.
Here are some disadvantages that will help you understand why communication gaps shouldn’t be taken for granted when it comes to making projects successful:
- Limited Employee Engagement
- Loss of data
- Lack of Project Hierarchy
- Team Conflicts
- Downgraded business credibility
By means of this write-up, we have talked about the project management communication plan and its importance, so you can streamline work progress. I hope you’ve grasped all the aforementioned information to make your projects successful.
Thanks for reading!
Q.What are the important elements of a project communication plan?
The important elements of a project communication plan are:
- Stakeholders’ preferences
- Communication protocols
- Ideas for information transfer
- Project details
Q.What are the 3 processes of communication?
The 3 processes of communication are:
- Plan project communications
- Manage project communications
- Monitor project communications
Q.What is a communication matrix in project management?
A communication matrix in project management is a visual representation of how project communications will take place during the development process. Top 3 factors of project communication matrix are:
- The type of communication
- The frequency of communication
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