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Brian Holt Discussion started by Brian Holt 1 year ago
Explain 5 distinct aspects which the project manager should consider when preparing a communications plan 

Who

What

How

When

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A stakeholder identification and analysis would take place to identify the relative power and interest of the stakeholders and who they are. Stakeholders may be internal to the project such as the sponsor and users but they may also be external such as the Government. This will enable the project manager to begin to define the what, who and when of the communications plan since all communications have a cost which is attributed to the project.

Depending on the level of the stakeholder (relative power and interest) over the project will define what we intend to communicate. Those within the project such as the project sponsor and the sponsoring group would receive confidential information which may not be appropriate to share with the wider stakeholder community. For example the Sponsor would be receiving accurate and detailed information relating to progress and the viability of the business case where as the end user would receive information about progress at a less detailed level reinforcing the positive benefits of the project, what it means to them,  and when it is being delivered.

The mechanism for communication will need to be considered by the project manager. For example it is highly likely that the project manager will invest more time with face to face meetings with those of higher power (either to keep them satisfied or increase their level of interest). Those with lower power and interest or to larger groups of stakeholders will require less costly (in terms of time and cost) forms of communication such as email, websites, newsletters. If the information is confidential or sensitive in nature then secure mechanisms will be required.

The timings of communications is all important. It is important to identify when to engage with each stakeholder group. For example in development of a new IT system, users would be engaged at the start of the project to gain interest and sell the benefits and the timings would increase as development progresses to prepare the users for key activities such as User acceptance testing and training.

With communications the project manager needs a mechanism to establish how effective the communications are at getting the message across so that the communications process can be continually improved. For example an organisation may have recently carried out an initiative to raise awareness in data protection as part of a project to improve overall data security. A short survey could be sent out via email to assess the stakeholders understanding and see how it could be improved.

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Paul Naybour
Paul Naybour Brian, you certainly have the hang of this 1 year ago
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