Overview of Communication Management Plan
The communication management plan is an integral part of the Project management plan where the process of collecting, generating, recording & circulating the information required by the stakeholders is planned and communicated in a structured manner.
The majority of the problems/constraints that arise and are not resolved in a project are due to a communication gap. There is a need for a structured way or a method of communication for the project manager. The communication management plan is the key aspect while preparing a project management plan/project charter.
During the commencement of the project, the method of communication or communication management plan should be defined clearly to avoid any form of hindrances. A communication management plan helps in establishing the flow of information in a project. Various stakeholders are present in the project viz. Management, project manager, cross-functional team members, vendors, external agencies, etc.
To make a project successful, Effective communication is very essential and hence the need for a communication management plan. In the case of a residential project, a project manager can generate a stakeholder communication plan to inform different stakeholders about the project and address them where their intervention is required.
List of Communication Management Plan
Some Communication Management Plans with their different types are given below.
1. Project Meetings
There are different types of a communication management plan for various stakeholders in the project, such as:
- Project Review Meeting (For Top Management)
- Project Coordination Meeting (For Cross-functional teams)
- Vendor Review Meeting (For Vendors)
1. Project Review Meeting
To communicate and provide information to management, “project review meetings” can serve as a communication plan to inform them about various aspects of projects like the progress of the project, the design stage of the project, the appointment of contractors, liaising issues, local issues, any external factors, etc. This will serve as an information system that will keep them aware of the project and will enable them to intervene if required.
2. Project Coordination Meeting
To communicate and provide information to the cross-functional team, “project coordination meetings” can be held, and project issues/constraints can be presented to team members based on their functional expertise. For e.g. To achieve a target set by management and based on site conditions, a design change is required, then these meetings could serve as a platform to communicate information to them, and at the same time, a solution can be provided by them. At the end of such meetings, minutes to be prepared and should be circulated so that all the stakeholders are informed about the change.
3. Vendor Review Meeting
To communicate and provide information to vendors, “vendor review meetings” are to be conducted on a weekly or fortnightly basis depending on project requirements. In this meeting, the vendor can provide progress charts, trend analysis, forecasting/projection for balance activities to communicate to the project manager about their scope of work.
In order to avoid commotion and ensure proper communication, all the meetings as mentioned above shall have a well-defined agenda. The frequency should also be pre-decided. The number of participants should be precise and should have the right members. Agendas should be floated well in advance so that the participants are prepared for the meeting. Any deviation from agenda points should not be entertained. The project manager is to be the driver of the meeting to avoid deviation.
In addition to the above formal methods, sometimes informal methods of face-to-face communication or telephonic communication also help to solve issues of a project.
Apart from the above, the communication management plan should be updated as and when required depending on the requirements of the project.
2. Performance Reports
There are performance reports for every project where the information/data shall be recorded for communication with stakeholders.
Different types of performance reports are as follows:
- Status Report
- Progress Report
- Trend Report
- Forecasting (or) Projection Report
- Variance Report
- Earned Value Report
- Project Learning Document
1. Status Report
- These reports present the current performance of the project against the earlier baseline.
- Timelines for the circulation of these reports shall be daily/weekly.
2. Progress Report
- This report describes the total accomplished work in a particular time frame.
- There are different types of reports in this category based on the interval of circulation.
|Progress Report Type
|Timelines for circulation
|Daily Progress Report
|Client & Internal Team
|Weekly Progress Report
|Client, Middle management
|Monthly Progress Report
|Client, Top management
3. Trend Report
- Trend report shall denote the upward or downward trend of the project based on the progress.
- It’s a typical top management report which is circulated/discussed on a monthly basis.
4. Forecasting (or) Projection Report
- A forecast or future expected progress/performance of the project is reported based on the current scenario of the project.
- A preliminary forecast is revised as per requirement & shall be submitted/circulated whenever required by Client/Management.
5. Variance Report
- This report compares actual progress to the baseline, and incurred variances in cost & time are represented.
- This report is generally circulated along with the Trend report, i.e. on a monthly basis.
6. Earned Value Report
- This report consists of scope, cost & Schedule measures in order to assess project performance, which shall be circulated on a monthly basis.
7. Project Learning Document
- With reference to all performance reports, the overall project learning document is prepared, which shall be helpful to access the project and also helps in working out the suggestions for future projects.
Whenever there are issues or complications arise in project communications, then it becomes necessary to escalate the issue to management if a resolution cannot be achieved/done within the internal project team.
With respect to the severity of the issue, the decision authority & time frame shall change as follows:
|The time frame for resolving (business days)
|Major impact on project, i.e. which may have a significant impact on time & cost.
|Top management level
|Within half day
|The medium-impact which may affect either cost or schedule
|Top management & Middle management level
|Within 1 day
|The minor impact which may delay the timelines
|Middle Management level
|Within 2 days
|No Impact on the project, but there is a better alternative
|Middle Management & Project Lead level
|Work shall be in progress; alternative solutions shall be worked out & sent for approval from the change management board.
This has been a guide to the Communication Management Plan. Here we discuss the List of Communication Management Plan with their different types. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –