Project Communication

What is Project Communication

Project communication is the communication done in relevance to the project 
Project communication defines
  • Stakeholders communication needs

  • Interests of Stakeholders

  • Communication frequency and content

Example - your sponsor's boss - what would he/she need with respect to information on the project.

Perhaps - highlights only, from - the sponsor, at a regular interval 

 

Project communication also involves setting up the governance of the project.

Why we communicate in a project

We communicate in the project to (some examples) :

  • Get to a shared understanding

  • Inform on and get status of project/ deliverable

  • Educate/ train of the new process

  • Take sign off on process/ cost/scope/schedule

  • Share ideas

  • Share issues/risks

  • Ensures that there is agreement on who decides what (Project Governance)

  • Ensure that who gets informed, when (Project Governance)

  • Ensure who is responsible for what (Project Governance)

What is project governance

Often decisions in a project become problem areas, who will take them, on what basis, under what authority. Sometimes a high influence - non-participating stakeholder, would get interested and wants to join in decision making. 

Project governance is a simple document outlining - which group decides what does what, how often.

 

Setting up a governance plan and eventual meetings is a required practice and should be done early in the project.

Typically - high influence or high impact stakeholders (or representatives) would become the highest group - let's call it a steering committee

It can be followed in the hierarchy by another representative group or a group a decision-making experts

And the permanent fixture is a working group - which is all the core project team members and any resources invited to the meeting as required - these are the doers or team leads of doers

 

It should also highlight decisions vs recommendation. e.g. Working may recommend delaying the project however the decision lies with Steer co. OR Steer co may recommend changing a process, but the decision may lie with some other experts. Refer to your organization's governance processes

What is a project communication plan 

Its an output based on communication requirement analysis, which is done to understand the communication needs of the stakeholders, namely

 

  1. Who requires – what information – from whom

  2. What format – what media – what technology - what frequency

The method used to transfer information among project stakeholders may depend on particular project requirement/ priorities:

  • The urgency of need of information

  • The availability of technology

  • Ease of use

  • The size – complexity – confidentiality – of project

So how do I go about it 

Start with identifying stakeholders and their influence on the project and impact from the project, along with their current support level. 

Those with high influence/impact should be involved in decision making, which should become the governance of the project. See the example below 

For the rest of the people, you need a communication plan (associated with a change management plan ). 

Use points 1 & 2 from "what is a project communication plan", add these columns to your stakeholder register and that will help you communicate. 

Did you know a project manager communicates 90% of the time, on a project.

Related :

Example project governance