9 Easy Steps to Create a Top-Notch Project Communications Plan

9 Easy Steps to Create a Top-Notch Project Communications Plan

The Communications plan describes who needs what information, when they will need it, where to deliver it, how to deliver it, who is responsible for delivering it, and the need for it.

Create the Communications plan at the beginning of the project and fully expand its use as the project ramps-up. Update the plan throughout the life of the project.

The Communications plan, created by the project manager, addresses the entire project organization. The planning framework identifies the communication goals, strategy and overall information requirements and distribution structure based on the project organization.


The Communications plan is formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed.


Development Approach

Step 1: Determine meeting and reporting requirements.

Review memos from the sponsor, the Contracts, the Project definition, the Project governance structure, Supplier Agreements, and the Organizational breakdown structure (OBS).

Step 2: Identify reporting and meeting policies and rules.

Review the Project documents to understand the specific project policies and rules for status reporting and status meetings. Policies and rules of the delivery organization often define the format and ways for status meeting and reporting.

Step 3: Establish information needs for all stakeholders.

Document communications aims for the stakeholders in the Communications plan and find the information needs of the stakeholders involved in the project. Analyze stakeholder needs and name the information provided and their sources.

Step 4: Determine if there are external media communication requirements.

Step 5: Determine stakeholder information needs and how to satisfy them.

Review the technical environment to find technology channels available within the project infrastructure. Map available communication technology channels to stakeholder information requirements and document in the Communications plan.

Step 6: Define formal reports to produce.

Define formal reports to produce to satisfy stakeholder requirements. Define the levels for which to produce the reports. Define the types of reports to produce for various levels and project organizational units and document in the Communications management plan.

Step 7: Define the project meetings.

Define the project meetings that will occur to satisfy stakeholder requirements and document them in the Communications plan: meetings are with the entire project team, one-on-one, or group, and face-face or electronic.

Step 8: Define how to share information.

Define the information retrieval and distribution strategy used to share information among team members and with the sponsor, including work products within and across the organization and document them in the Communications plan.

Step 9: Publish the Communications management plan

Review the plan with the sponsor. Ensure that the Communications plan is approved as required.


– See more at: http://www.softpmo.com/blog/Steps_to_consider_when_developing_the_Project_communications_plan.html


Michael Kaplan is Founder and CEO of SoftPMO™, a New York-based consulting firm that specializes in improving execution and resource management. He is a recognized leader in program management and serves as an advisor and mentor to senior executives. He founded MAK CON LLC, a consulting firm specializing in large-scale program management, in 2002. In 2009, he re-launched the company as SoftPMO, incorporating MAK CON LLC’s tools and methodologies into a larger enterprise program management framework.


In more than 20 years of practice, Michael has worked with several of the most successful organizations in the world, including Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, to help them achieve the full intent of their most urgent and critically important initiatives.


Michael is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional (PMP). His work is built on a solid foundation of research and extensive consulting experience. He loves to develop products and is quite good at UX/UI design. Michael authored one book—SoftPMO Project Execution Guide—and more than 70 blog posts, and created several popular commercial products. His most recent innovations are the SoftPMO Project Management Toolkit and socialpmo.co—a new kind of social media solution.


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