November 17, 2010 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Communications Management
10 Steps to a High Quality Project Communications Plan
By Petrus Keyter
Creating a communications plan of high quality for your project is one of the most import actions you can undertake during your project, as this is the window into your project for all stakeholders. A proper communications plan will allow for everyone to know exactly what is happening on your project at all times.
- Analyze your current communications plan.
Review how the current communication status is on your projects and identify what works and what does not work. Also, identify any lessons learnt from previous project and ensure these mistakes are not made again.
Set your objectives.
List the top five objectives you want to achieve with your communications plan. Remember to think about what you want to communicate and who you want to communicate this to.
Set your communications guidelines.
Once you have your objectives, you need to set your communication guidelines. Here you must think about what channels to use for communications, are certain communications first to be approved by higher management, how to tailor communications for specific stakeholders and the frequency of the different communications.
You must document exactly who you are going to communicate to. This will also give you an idea of what needs to be communicated and how often each of these communications must be sent.
As you have different stakeholders, from executives to team members to communicate to, you must ensure that you provide the right information to the right stakeholders. The project executive team on board may only need a high level project dashboard, where as your team members must have detailed project schedules, actions and timeline reports.
List of key communication items.
Create a list of key information items that needs to be sent to each stakeholder, i.e. project risks and issues, project deliverables, project status and dashboard, project minutes.
Once you have listed the key communication items, the next thing to do is to document how each of these will be delivered to the different stakeholders. This means you have to identify and document the different delivery channels for each item. Delivery channels may include emails, meetings and meeting minutes, presentations, project newsletter.
Based on all the information listed above you must now create a communications schedule. This will include all communication events, activities and actions that will be required to deliver the correct information to the correct stakeholder using the correct delivery channel.
For every event that was listed in the communication schedule, it now needs to be described in more detail. Ensure that you include the purpose of the event, how and when it will take place and who will do it.
The Communication Matrix.
Finally when you have everything ready, the final thing you need to do is to identify who will manage every communication how every communication will be measured for effectiveness. This is done using a Communication Matrix, which for each communication event who is accountable, who will be part of it and who will measure the effectiveness.
Once you have followed these ten steps, you should have a very detailed documented communications plan and all that now needs to be done is to get it approved and then to execute your communications plan.
Petrus Keyter has been in the IT and Technology industry for over 25 years and has been actively involved in web design and development, search engine optimization and marketing and website copy writing for the past 8 years. Another passion is also home and business organization and filing, especially around effective filing systems. If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.pankey.co.za.
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