It works as a tool to deliver information effectively to the stakeholders and team working on the project. Communication plan works as a communication bridge and helps to pitch in new ideas and keep the record of them. It also helps to clarify the main initiatives of the project and highlights the purpose of the project launch. It keeps the project away from unnecessary crises and barriers that are caused by communication. If a company doesn’t have a right communication plan it is likely to face some hurdles and delayed progress. A good communication plan works as a problem solver. The communication management plan templates are available for free and at lower rates which can keep the project’s growth smooth. It also saves a project from unpredictable failures. It keeps the project expectations, deliverables and motives organized.
The core benefit is to set and organize the expectations of both the stakeholders and the customer. It is a two way process which keeps both ends updated about the happenings of the project. Project management communication plan is often ignored and not much stress is laid on its importance. But it is an important tool to keep the project running smoothly. It also keeps the team aware about the upcoming needs of the project.
A successful communication plan keeps the client and stakeholder aligned and updated about the milestones of the project. To develop a healthy communication with the client it plays a key role. Not only has this but it helped in effective and realistic planning of the project. Planning is a critical part and requires attention. When the team has a good communication system automatically planning will occur at a better level. There are different things on a project like budget, timeline, goals and milestones that require collaborative efforts and ideas, for this purpose communication plans work so well. It keeps the team intact during such times.
Key Features of Communication plan for Project Managers.
A communication plan has some key features which makes it an important tool, like every project management has some distinct features. They are as follows;
- You need to create a step by step process that will lead you towards the goals of your project. In this you can highlight the contraindication that can happen as a challenge to keep the project’s growth as the planned rate.
- Make sure to keep the objective crystal clear. Decide the growth parameters and customer’s demand in check. Keep the objectives realistic or they may cause you some trouble in the later stages of the project.
- Communication often helps to develop the achievable goals for the project. For this purpose you will require several meetings and a good communication plan.
- When the motives of a project are obvious it is easier to develop strategy. With the changing phases of the project, the strategies are also in constant evolution. Write down those strategies to keep everything under check.
- The managers or senior team members of the project work on the project’s plan. To make a business grow, you will require a comprehensive plan.
- Write a proper summary having precisely described mission, scope, values, goals, key deliverables, communication methods, risks and resources.
- A good communication plan also discusses the key challenges a project might face. To make the reputation of the project better you need to overcome these challenges and keep up with the standards of the organization.
- Right situation and customer analysis clears out so many confusions of the team working on a project. Focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your team and make an achievable plan.
- Competitor analysis helps you have a clear vision about your position in the market. It also makes you aware about your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. And you can amend your strategies accordingly.
- Cost Strategy is another key element in a communication plan as financial details are important to lead the project efficiently.
Examples of Communication Plan Templates:
There are a variety of templates available to make the communication plan process easier and better. Some of them are mentioned below;
Strategic Communication Plan Template:
A strategic communication plan highlights goals in such a way that they will later help in the planning and implementation of strategies according to the goals. Communication objectives are different from the normal objectives and they have great influence on the progress of the project and change the perspective of the project. Some audience related goals are clearly identified and written in a strategic communication plan. Key messages regarding a communication plan for the project are also a part of strategic communication plan.
Here is a graphical template for the strategic communication plan. There are 5 steps that are mainly a part of a strategic communication plan.
- Structured and standardized information
- Proper verbal communication along with written mode
- Effective leadership during hand off
- Risk assessment to identify opportunities for improvement
- Continuous effort to improve hand off communication through training and education
Prince2 Communication Plan Template:
Prince2 has a great role in project management and has several project management templates available. It has great communication plans. Some major steps or essentials of project communication plan template are;
- Roles and responsibilities of team
- Stakeholder analysis
- Information needs to setup a communication plan
- Frequent reporting
- Communication procedures identified
- Introduction of the project
- Tools and techniques for communication
- Department related information and data
- Ways of using a template efficiently
- An overview
- Keeping records
How to Write an Effective Communication Management Plan?
Writing a communication plan may seem tough but a professional project manager is well aware about the pattern of communication plan. Here are some steps to write a simple communication plan.
- First of all you need to list down the communication needs of the project. Each project is different if we talk about needs. Needs depend upon some properties of the project like size of the project, nature of the project, preferences of the client and some others. These properties help to identify the communication system and plan of the project.
- It is unprofessional to spam emails unnecessarily. You need to define the purpose for communication. In this you decide or outline needs that require communication to make a better implementation of the project’s plan. Basic agenda for the communication is predefined to avoid delays and conflicts.
- Method of communication is also selected. Also, the time period for panel discussions and meetings are decided. Email, phone call or meetings are the options that are put up in front of the team. Team mutually settles the suitable method for communication.
- Frequency of communication is decided to keep the expectations discussed constantly. Plans for meetings and reports are made properly to keep everything running smoothly.
- Identification of project owner and stakeholder is done to keep the ownership intact. And make the team accountable to that owner. Also, a communication plan is discussed with the stakeholders and their involvement and input in the project is prerecorded.