Project Communication

Project Communication

Project Communication Jonathan Poland

Project communication is the exchange of information and messages that occurs during the planning, execution, and evaluation phases of a project. Effective project communication is essential for the success of any project, as it helps to ensure that all stakeholders are informed about the project’s progress, challenges, and successes.

There are several key aspects of project communication that are important to consider. These include:

  1. Communication plan: A communication plan is a document that outlines how communication will be managed throughout the project. It should identify the key stakeholders, the types of communication that will be used (e.g., email, meetings, reports), and the frequency of communication.
  2. Stakeholder engagement: Engaging with stakeholders is an important aspect of project communication. This may involve holding regular meetings or updates, responding to inquiries and concerns, and keeping stakeholders informed about project progress and changes.
  3. Communication channels: There are many different communication channels that can be used during a project, including email, phone, video conferencing, and in-person meetings. It is important to choose the most appropriate communication channel for each situation in order to ensure that information is conveyed effectively.
  4. Communication skills: Strong communication skills are essential for project communication. This includes the ability to clearly articulate ideas, listen actively, and resolve conflicts effectively.

Overall, effective project communication is essential for the success of any project. By developing a clear communication plan, engaging with stakeholders, using appropriate communication channels, and demonstrating strong communication skills, project managers can ensure that information is conveyed effectively throughout the project.

The following are common types of project communication.

Project Initiation

Early phase communication related to project concept, purpose, business plan, objectives, scope and deliverables. In this phase, stakeholders may not be fully identified or committed to the project.

Change Management

The leadership process of engaging stakeholders, selling change, setting expectations, motivating teams and clearing issues. For example, kickoff sessions, management meetings and Q&A sessions that designed to push a project forward.

Requirements

The business analysis process of identifying and refining requirements. Includes requirements gathering sessions, meetings to resolve inconsistencies, reviews and approvals.

Estimates

The process of developing and validating estimates. This may involve working sessions and communication of estimates to stakeholders.

Planning & Scheduling

The process of communicating plans and schedules. For example, a project plan may undergo an intensive review process before being baselined.

Risk

The ongoing process of identifying, assessing, managing and communicating risk.

Issues

The process of identifying, escalating and clearing issues.

Design

Design sessions, design documentation, review and approvals.

Status

The communication of project status to all stakeholders. Typically involves both weekly reports and meetings.

Governance

Project governance such as a weekly steering committee meeting.

Financial

Communication of budget and financial transactions such as a vendor payment.

Procurement

Procurement related communication processes such as a request for proposal process.

Vendors

Management and control of vendor relationships and performance. For example, developing and communicating a score card of vendor performance.

Conflict

Recognizing and working through conflicts that occur between stakeholders, working teams and vendors.

Performance

Setting goals for team members and managing performance. Communicating low performance immediately to give people a chance to correct. Rewarding and celebrating exceptional performance.

Stakeholder Communication

Continually engaging stakeholders to manage expectations. For example, keeping operations up to date on a project such that they don’t feel consulted when the project is ready for launch.

Controls

Communication related to project controls or the internal controls of an organization. For example, the communications required to comply with an organization’s financial processes.

Execution

The communication surrounding project work such as organizing work processes and troubleshooting issues.

Testing

Communication of things like test plans, testing status and defects.

Launch

Communications related to launch of a project. For example, meetings that coordinate a launch between the project team, marketing and operations.

Closure

Publicizing and celebrating successes and exploring lessons learned.

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