The Complete Guide to Project Communication Management

Project communication management primarily focuses on keeping the right project information distributed to the right stakeholders at the right time.

Indeed the project manager spends approximately 90% of his time in project communications. Hence for the project manager, project communication management knowledge area is very important to understand.

Project manager should understand the concept of effective communication to establish a relevant and proper communication system in the project.

Project communication management determines

  • what to communicate
  • To whom to communicate
  • How often (frequency) to communicate
  • When to communicate (which day of the week)
  • And finally when (how frequently) to reevaluate the plan

We have seen the previous blog post on human resource management knowledge area, where first we planned the things and then we managed and controlled the human resources.

Likewise in project communication management also, we plan how communication should happen between the stakeholders and teams with in the project, when, and whom the communication should take place, etc. will be discussed.

And we manage the communication across the project.

Finally we also compare actual communications with the plan and evaluate the variation so as to take any corrective actions.

Project Communication Management

Project Communication Management Processes

There are 3 processes in project communication management knowledge area. They are

#ProcessProcess Group
1Plan communications managementPlanning
2Manage communicationsExecuting
3Control communicationsMonitoring and Controlling

Plan Communications Management

You need to understand how many people in your project need to communicate. And what are their needs of communication.

Just like any knowledge area, plan communication management process will determine how project communication management processes will be performed.

Here is the place you determine what, how , when communication should happen.  Also what communication methods, communication models and technology to be used in the project for communication.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Project management plan
  • Stakeholder register
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Communication requirements analysis
  • The Communication channels
  • Communication technology
  • The Communication model
  • Communication methods
  • Meetings
  • Communication Management Plan

Inputs

Project management plan

Project management plan is an input to all the planning processes. This mean that other subsidiary plans may be used in development the plan for a specific knowledge area. In this case it is project communication management subsidiary plan.

Stakeholder register

Stakeholder register will contain the list of all stakeholders in your project. To plan the communication between the stakeholders, you need stakeholder register as input.

If you observe closely, the project communication management knowledge area work very closely with stakeholder management knowledge area.

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Enterprise environmental factors are common inputs to many project management processes. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on enterprise environmental factors.

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets are part of common ITTOs blog post. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

Tools & Techniques

Organization charts and position descriptions

Organization charts and position descriptions tells everyone how the team is structured in the organization. There are primarily 3 formats to represent it.

Communication requirements analysis

Communication requirement analysis about performing an analysis on your project stakeholder communication needs. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Number of Communication channels required

Based on the number of people that needs to be communicate in the project, you would determine or calculate the number of communication channels required in the project.

Which Communication technology to use

This tells us which technology needs to be used for communication in the project. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Communication model

Eventually the communication model is the fundamental to understand what communication model should your project contain. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Communication methods

Eventually communication methods refers to what type of communication your project needs. For example you may use pull, push or interactive type of communication for some of your project communication needs. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Meetings

Planning meetings for communication is always a great help to know thoughts from other stakeholders on the communication.

Outputs

Communication Management Plan

As we know by now that the project communication management plan is the subsidiary plan to the project management plan. And this is the only output of the plan communication management process. Project communication management plan contains the following information.

  • Who needs to receive the communication
  • What communication is relevant to which stakeholders
  • Who need to send the communication to the stakeholders
  • What communication method and communication technology to use
  • How often to send the communication to the stakeholders
  • Finally definition, terms or vocabulary for all other stakeholders to understand the contents of the project communication management plan.

Manage communications

The project communication management plan describes the plan on how the communications should be handled in the project. And the process of manage communication carries or executes the plan.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Communication management plan
  • Work performance reports
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Communication technology
  • The communication model
  • Communication methods
  • Information management systems
  • Performance reporting
  • Project communications
  • Updates to Project management plan
  • Project document updates
  • Organizational process assets updates

Inputs

Communication management plan

In every knowledge area the subsidiary plan always be the input to the remaining processes, as plan mentions how the rest the processes must be performed.

Work performance reports

Indeed majority of the project communication that you share with the stakeholders is all related to the project progress. So work performance reports is used as input to this process.

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Enterprise environmental factors are common inputs to many project management processes. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on enterprise environmental factors.

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets are detailed as part of common ITTOs blog post. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

Tools & Techniques

Communication technology

This tells us which technology needs to be used for communication in the project. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

The Communication model

Eventually communication model is the fundamental to understand what communication model should your project contain. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Communication methods

Indeed communication methods refers to what type of communication your project needs. For example you may use pull, push or interactive type of communication for some of your project communication needs. Refer to my recent blog post on tools and techniques for project communication management for more details.

Information Management Systems

Anything that helps to manage and access information is an example of information management system. For example a web or share point portal that stores the project documents, email distribution system, document repository system,  etc. are information management systems that can be used to manage communications.

Performance reporting

Performance reporting is a communication tool to report the project performance to the relevant stakeholders. As project progress, there is lot of information about your project progress needs to share with right stakeholders to govern the project decisions

Outputs

Project communications

Eventually project communication is any communication that share information to the stakeholders which may be formal or informal in nature.

Updates to Project management plan

Any changes to the plan, while managing the project would require updates to the project management plan.

Updates to Project documents

These may be the updates to the stakeholder register, in case if you find more information on the stakeholders during project communication management. This is also a common ITTO. Please refer to common ITTO s blog post for more details…

Organizational process assets updates

All the learnings and findings from project communication management will require updates to organization process assets for future use in the projects.

Control communications

Controlling processes always compares the actuals with the plan, and figure out the gaps. So in control communications process you compare the execution of actual communications with the plan, and take corrective actions if there are any variations.

Moreover, control communication process takes the output from the executing processes in manage communications and converts them into work performance information.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Project communications
  • Issue Log
  • Work performance Data
  • Organizational process assets
  • Information management systems
  • Expert judgement
  • Meetings
  • Work performance information
  • Change requests
  • Updates to Project management plan updates
  • Updates to Project document
  • Organizational process assets updates

Inputs

Project communications

Project communication is any communication that share information to the stakeholders which may be formal or informal in nature. This is an output of the manage communications process.

Issue Log

All communication related issues will be logged in the issue log for further analysis.

Work performance Data

Work performance data is the actual project data that is collected as part of the project execution, and control communication will process them to make work performance information.

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets are part of common ITTOs blog post. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

Tools & Techniques

Information management systems

Anything that helps to manage and access information is an example of information management system. For example a web or share point portal that stores the project documents, email distribution system, document repository system,  etc. are information management systems that can be used to manage communications.

Expert judgement

Taking experts opinion to control communications required for the project. Expert judgement is a common ITTO to most of the project management processes. Refer to common ITTO s for detailed explanation about expert judgment.

Meetings Work

Meetings for controlling the communications is always great help to know thoughts from other stakeholders.

Outputs

Work performance information

Eventually work performance data is taken as input from executing process and convert them into work performance reports using the control communications process by comparing plan vs actuals.

Change requests

If there are any variations to the plan, a change request may need to be created and will have to raise it to perform integrated change control process as part of the integration management knowledge area for further processing.

Updates to Project management plan

Any changes to the plan, while controlling the project communications would require updates to the project management plan.

Project document updates

This is also a common ITTO. Please refer to common ITTO s blog post for more details…

Organizational process assets updates

All the learning and findings during this process will need updates to organization process assets for future use in the projects.

Conclusion

To conclude with project communication management is the knowledge has the processes, which the project manager will use to establish proper communication in the project.

Then, we have seen the 3 processes namely plan communications, manage communications and finally control communications.

Finally the project manager should understand all the above mentioned processes to have effective communication in the project.

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