A communication plan template is the most important component of project management used to provide information to the stakeholders. This document informs them that when, why, and how communication will occur. Communication is a great way to deal with problems and risks. Moreover, it makes sure that all tasks are completely done on time.
A successful communication plan should contain all the information to communicate and methods of communication. You should include the following elements in it;
- A brief background for your communication plan
- The identification of the stakeholders
- State all objectives clearly.
- Your plans for going about the communication
- Potential risks and issues.
- Your budget
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a project management communication plan?
- 2 Types of communication plan:
- 3 What should be included in communication plan?
- 4 The advantages of a communication plan:
- 5 How to create a communication plan?
- 6 Conclusion:
- 7 Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- 8 What is the first step in communication planning?
- 9 Which tool should you use to make a communication plan online?
What is a project management communication plan?
A project management communication plan is an effective way to determine how essential details will be delivered to stakeholders throughout the project. Also, it identifies the following;
- Who will be receiving the communication?
- How people will receive it
- When people will receive it
- How often they receive that details
You should include the following details in your project communication plan;
- The objective of the communication plan
- Details regarding stakeholders and their roles
- The types of details that have to be shared with stakeholders
- The method that you use to communicate
- The frequency that each stakeholder wants to get information
Types of communication plan:
There are different types of communication plans. For example, you can create a crisis communication plan to develop what you need to do during a crisis. This plan informs that how people will convey information with each other. This document contains methodology, frequency, other specifics, and type of communication to use whether formal or not.
A communication plan is an efficient document that informs your employees how and when they’re expected to exchange information. The head of the chain sets the tone of communication for entire interaction. It is the responsibility of the head to maintain control over the whole communication process. Furthermore, such plans are important and allow for transparency. You should involve all your employees in the communication plan so that everyone feels appreciated. You can make communication plans for;
- Change management
- Communications management strategy
- Integrated marketing
- Mainstreaming and action
What should be included in communication plan?
The components to include in your communication plan vary on the basis of the project type and scope. Here are a few important items that you must include in every project communication plan;
Include all key stakeholders and contact details of your primary client. Provide your stakeholders contact details including contact numbers and emails so that anyone who go through the communication plan can find this information.
From your project team, specify the main team members and their roles. Mention the team member who is involved in the communication of deliverables. Furthermore, you should also state who will handle technical conversations among stakeholders and your team.
The main communication methods and different channels that you will use to contact stakeholders, specify them. These may include email, phone calls, in-person meetings, video meetings, and more.
Communication type and style
In this section, mention the type of communication, how it will be shared, and the elements to include in it, and who that communication will be with. Next, specify the communication style whether it is formal or more casual.
It is helpful to have an initial idea of how often you’ll be meeting with stakeholders. You may also want to specify how often you’ll be emailing the client on the basis of the scope of the project.
Identify for every stakeholder the key message or details that have to be communicated with them throughout the project.
The objective of communication
Including the objective of communication in your communication plan assists you in making sure that you make decisions depending on what you are trying to achieve.
The advantages of a communication plan:
Communication plans provide you with various benefits. Some of them are as follows;
Minimize misunderstandings and uncertainty:
In any organization, communication is essential. For example, you have a client who wants to ask technical questions from one of your team members. And, one of your employees wants to contact a client for one reason or another. So, a communication plan is the easy way to resolve these situations.
This plan also minimizes misunderstandings and uncertainties. It lets people know how communication processes work. In this way, employees will know who to communicate regarding certain issues. A well-made plan should also contain a failsafe and select someone who will act as the fallback contact.
The relevant recipients will get the message:
Without getting results, it is annoying for anyone to reach someone with an issue. But with the help of a good communication plan, you can outline how the communication process should work. The plan also indicates who should receive the message. Also, it demonstrates that what type of messages they should receive. Thus, by creating a such an environment everyone knows who to get solutions from. It also makes sure that an in charge is always armed with the right information.
Maintain communication better:
You can maintain communication better with the help of a well-made communication plan. Having poor communication is the worst thing in an organization. In project or companies, this is a common cause of problems. For instance, if an employee sent a message to wrong person who isn’t involved in the project then this will lead to confusion and poor communication. If such mistakes keep on happening, you may have to require a lot of time and effort to solve these problems. Hence, you can avoid such mistakes through a communication plan.
How to create a communication plan?
A communication plan basically is a sort of roadmap. This document is used by different departments. You should spend enough time and effort to make a huge impact. It will increase your capability to achieve the outcome you want. Here are some tips on how to create a communication plan;
- Firstly, you should know the reason of creating a communication plan. You should know what modifications you require to see as a result of better communication. Before you start creating your document, it’s important to think of this.
- The next step you have to do is to think about who you should communicate with. List down all the potential clients that you include in your plan. When you have done that, think about the audience that what they currently think about your topic. Then, think about your objective that you want your audiences to know. All of this thinking will come as a communication.
- Now, for each of your audiences, jot down the messages. You can also use the same or different message for all of them. Bear in mind the intention of your communication during composing your messages.
- After that, decide when you will impart your messages, the timing is extremely essential. It will tell you how to communicate with your audiences.
- It’s better to convey your message through written communication. You have to consider a more interactive approach in case of a controversial message.
- Next, decide on how to prepare your message and who will deliver it. List the resources you will require. Also, make a plan on how you’ll know if your audience received your communication.
Some other tips:
- Communication is an ongoing process so your plan should coincide with your activities.
- Your audience is really very important so you should understand their concerns, priorities, and environments. In this way, you can convey better message to them.
- Create a table with columns to organize your information.
- To access your audience, think of creative ways. You should also identify their needs.
- Think about why you need to communicate and be very clear when you express your reasons.
- Don’t include such information that you can’t support with facts.
In conclusion, a communication plan template is the backbone of a successful project. It’s not an impossible task; you can create it with a lot of effort. You require a communication plan if you are planning to start a new job.
Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the first step in communication planning?
Defining the objectives you and your team want to achieve is the first step in communication planning. You should highlight the short and long-term goals so that it becomes easier to plan the project.
Which tool should you use to make a communication plan online?
You can use a communication plan template to make your communication plan. You can download this template online from any website.