How to Develop a Communications Plan for a Project

by Robert Russell; Updated September 26, 2017
Keep the communication flowing.

If a project does not have a good communication plan, it is doomed to fail. The primary responsibility of a project manager is to develop and organize an effective and efficient communication plan. This will motivate the project team and allow to project to be accomplished in a timely fashion. A good communication plan should engender a open and transparent atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable providing ideas and input. A project manager who acts like a dictator will be self-defeating.

Introduction

Step 1

Develop a communication strategy: (1) Develop and define the project. As the project manager you are the primary source of information. Your task is to communicate effectively in order to direct and motivate the project team. (2) Create a forum that allows for the exchange of ideas. Let everyone on the team know that their contribution is valuable. Communication is a dialogue and not a monologue. The communication plan should encourage and engender interaction and input from all who are involved. (3) Clarify communication goals. The goals of good communication should enable the project to be completed effectively and on time. This will help to prevent surprises, avoid duplication, and reveal omissions.

Step 2

Delegate responsibilities. Individual members of the project team should know what their particular responsibilities are and to whom they are responsible. Everyone should know the communication objectives.

Step 3

Use different media and methods to keep communication up to date and to keep everyone informed. This includes email updates, project memos, face-to-face encounters and regular reports.

Step 4

Set a timeline for reports and reviews. In addition to the daily exchange of information, schedule meeting dates and deadlines for reports. This will keep the team motivated and structured. It also helps to prioritize tasks.

Step 5

Review the communication plan to ensure that it is working effectively. Seek input from the team. Is the necessary information being communicated in a timely manner. If not, what improvements can be made to make it better?

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.

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