Table of Content
- 1. Options for Methods of Communication
- 2. What you need to include in the Communication Management Plan?
For any project to be successful, everyone knows that communication needs to be top-notch. If you are a project manager with no regard for communication or do not value the importance of effective teamwork during your project; I can almost guarantee you that your projects are not as successful as they could be. In order for a project to be successful, it is important to draw up a communication management plan for the duration of the project. This plan, once drawn up, shows clear lines of authority, communication, and responsibility. The purpose of drawing up a plan like this is to ensure there is no confusion around communication which takes away a lot of the silly little time-wasting confusions that can trip projects up during their processes.
So, why is this Plan Important?
Any communication during a project needs to be drawn out and sorted according to every single aspect of it. Taking the extra time to detail this will assist yourself and the rest of your project team over the course of the project. A project communication plan, once created, should ideally do the following things:
- Contain documents that help during the course of the project
- Outline very clear objectives without confusion
- Allow for constructive feedback
- Increase overall productivity levels within the team
- Maintain standards and continuity
Options for Methods of Communication
Communication itself is important, as we have already outlined. But communication is no longer just simply talking between each other. As Terrence Bray, a business journalist at Brit Student and Write my X, commented, “With the growth of remote teams and communication between teams at different offices and sites, and even just natural growth of digital methods in popularity; talking is no longer the only form of communication.”
The following methods should definitely be considered when drafting up a communication management plan:
- Emailing back and forth
- Boards within an office or in a communal area with updates
- In person meetings
- Online meetings such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams
- Anonymous surveys to be conducted
- Phone communication
- Group messaging
It is important to take into account what you and your team work best with and also what is most helpful and easy to use for clients or other connections during the project. You may need to test out different methods to see what works and what doesn’t for your project team. Communication is not a one size fits all thing.
What you need to include in the Communication Management Plan?
Although every project is different and will have different needs dependent on certain aspects of the project, there is still some continuity and similarity between all projects in what is needed when it comes to communication.
- All of your stakeholders: Think about everyone who has anything to do with the project or will be affected by any of it. It is important to have contact details for all of them and include the way they will be affected in the plan.
- All team members: It is important to ensure everyone in your team has assigned duties in the communication plan. These may include but not limited to the following:
- Basic communication on project decisions
- Being in charge of strategy meetings
- Conducting technical decision meetings with stakeholders and with other team members
Let’s Talk about Methods of Communication
Earlier, we dipped our toe into communication methods. It is absolutely crucial to define what types of communication methods will be used during the duration of the project and what they will be used for. Hope Noel, a business writer at Origin Writings and 1 Day 2 write, noted, “You will most likely utilize more than one communication method over the course of your project’s duration, and it is important to define what these methods are and when they will be used.”
You need to define the details of your communication, such as:
- How often you will communicate with people within your team
- Who needs to communicate with each other and for what purpose
- What details need to be communicated
Think about your Styles of Communication
The first thing you need to define is if the communication you need to conduct will need to be formal or informal. Then, you need to schedule meetings, send out key messages, or whatever needs to be done to organise the delivery of this communication. Then, and only then, can the communication actually be delivered.
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Detail your Needs for Communication
No project is exactly the same. There will be different aspects to every project that means you need to adjust your communication plan accordingly. These differences can be as such:
- How big the project is and how long it plans to go on for
- The content of the project, and what the project actually is
- How the client wants the project to operate.
Pick out your Method of Communication
Now that all those pesky and fiddly details are all lined out and understood, you can pick out your communication methods. It is important to pick the methods that work best for the people that will be using them and for the information that will need to be portrayed through those methods. If it is helpful, draw out a timeline with the communication methods that will be used at different points for different goals and between different people.
Think about the Frequency of Communication
In order to ensure communication goes to plan, it is crucial to line out and establish what your expectations are for communication taking place during the project. Make sure your team is fully aware of how often you expect them to communicate and what the plan is for communication over the course of the project.
During any project, communication is absolutely paramount. No project was ever completed to the best it could be by a team that did not communicate effectively. Rather than just expecting your team to communicate well without a plan, safeguard your project by writing out a detailed communication management plan.