When you’re in charge of a project, you have so many tasks and points to cover. From outlining the project stages to defining everyone’s exact roles, you’ve already got a handful of work to do. And, no matter how good you are at your job as a project manager, you won’t be able to get very far without a communication management plan.
If you’re not sure why a communication management plan is so important or how to write a great one, just keep reading. Below, you’ll find the answers to these questions as well as 8 steps to write a killer communication management plan.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Communication Management Plan?
Let us first define what exactly is a communication management plan and what it means for each of your projects.
A communication management plan is a tool that helps you define how important information and communication within the project will be handled between you, stakeholders, team members, and clients.
It defines elements such as:
- means of communication
- type of updates
If you write an effective communication management plan, you’re doing a favor to everyone involved in the project, including yourself. People can reference the plan, use it as guidance or as a reminder.
How to Write a Communication Management Plan?
Now that you understand why you need a communication management plan, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take in order to write an effective and informative communication management plan.
Let’s break it down together.
1. Understand & Define Your Goals
For any project to be successful and lucrative, it needs to have clearly defined goals that will give guidance. This is why you need to answer the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve with each communication that I plan?
- What is my main goal?
- What are my other goals?
- What is the purpose of each communication?
Make sure that you know exactly what you want to achieve with each point in your communication plan and don't include anything redundant and unnecessary.
This will help you create a high-functioning communication management plan that keeps everyone on the same page.
2. Identify Key Stakeholders
For each project, you need to identify the key stakeholders that you plan on communicating with. This way, everyone who’s involved in the project, including your team members, will know who the stakeholders are and how to reach them if needed.
Identify them and share their basic contact information:
- name and last name
- role in the project
- phone numbers and emails
Naturally, check with the stakeholders if they OK with you sharing their information this way, and make sure to get their permission.
3. Include Different Communication Methods
Now it's time to decide how you plan on keeping the communication between the team members going, and what types of communication methods you plan on using.
Think about the size of the project and the level of communication needed for it to be a success. Then decide on communication methods such as:
- email reports
- video calls
- phone calls
- check-in meetings
- in-person meetings
Think about the specific needs for each project and choose the communication methods you feel are the most suitable and needed.
4. Define Communication Frequency
When you’re writing a communication management plan, you should leave no room for second-guessing or different interpretations. That means you need to define everything to the smallest detail, including how often the communication happens.
So, you need to define the frequency of communication to make sure everyone stays on track and follows the same schedule.
You could include things such as:
- weekly check-in meetings every Monday
- a daily email exchange between certain team members or stakeholders
- monthly progress reports
- weekly feedback reports
- video-calls at the beginning of every new stage in the project
The more specific your communication instructions are, the better the communication flow is going to be.
Make sure you let everyone know what types of check-ins and reports you expect from them, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
5. List Communications Tools To Be Used
Communication tools that you plan on using is another important aspect of your communication management plan. You have to ensure everyone’s got these tools ready and are prepared to join the conversation whenever it’s needed.
You should make a list of tools that people on the project will be using:
- team collaboration tools
- video call platforms
- to-do lists
- online calendars
- discussion boards
List the tools you want to make a part of for the project and give everyone clear instructions on how to get prepared for the communication defined in your communication management plan.
6. Define Everyone’s Roles
For all the people involved in the project, it’s important that they understand exactly what you’re expecting them to do, why, and when.
This is why in your communication management plan you need to define everyone’s roles and help them perform better on their tasks.
You should include information such as:
- who manages the to-do lists
- who writes the reports
- who communicates with which stakeholder
- who shares the updates in every phase of the project
If people know what their specific jobs are, they'll be ready to invest more effort and do it with more precision. This is why you should always define their exact roles and put in writing what each team member is supposed to do.
7. Allow Project Visibility
For you, it's important to see what your team members are doing. And, for your stakeholders, it's important to see how the project is going.
Make sure that your communication management plan allows:
- project visibility
- access to project information
- project status updates
Give them a way to stay informed and allow for all the information to be available at any moment.
8. Write Professionally & Accurately
As a person in charge of the project, you need to show how professional and trustworthy you are. This has to be visible in every step that you make, including the written copy of the communication management plan.
You cannot allow for any mistakes or else everyone’s going to think less of you. To show you’re not sloppy or unreliable, you have to write like a professional:
- proofread everything using proofreading tools
- edit several times
- watch your vocabulary and writing style
- ask someone you trust to read the communication management plan before you send it out
Also, you can check out reviews of companies if you feel like you need any more help with polishing your writing.
Show your level of competency and professionalism by writing accurately and removing any weak points from the communication management plan.
Writing a communication management plan is an essential step in the process of successfully carrying out a project. It is challenging to write a good communication management plan, but with the right guidance, anyone can do it.
Use the steps we’ve shared above to write a high-quality communication management plan. Make sure you include all the important information and you’ll be able to finalize your project successfully.