Feedback please – communication plan practice question

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  samkroberts 3 months ago.

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  • #44745

    samkroberts
    Participant

    Why should a project manager use a communication plan?

    “Communication is the means by which information or instructions are exchanged. Successful communication occurs when the received meaning is the same as the transmitted meaning”

    A communication plan forms part of the project management plan. The communication plan identifies areas of how communication should be processed and managed. The project manager should use a communication plan because:
    It defines the frequency of communication so as not to overload the team, and informs them of the expectations of them.

    It identifies the communication flow throughout the hierarchy and what types of communication that will be used.

    The plan allows the PM to deliver the project and achieve the outcome and benefits.

    The plan identifies the timescales such as meeting dates, when actions are needed and the timescales in which they need to be completed.

    For the purpose of security, confidentiality and governance, the plan informs who had access to what information.

    The plan ensures that the relevant people are informed and consulted with, ensuring that no one is forgotten. Such people would be the project team, internal and external stakeholders, suppliers etc.

    Thank you

    #44758

    Paul Naybour
    Moderator

    Hi

    The question would be something like…..

    a) Explain what is meant by a project communication plan
    b) List and describe five components of a project communications plan.

    I have tweaked your answer, below. I think it still needs a bit more, but this should pass.
    a) “Communication is the means by which information or instructions are exchanged. Successful communication occurs when the received meaning is the same as the transmitted meaning”. A project communication plan sets out a structured approach to communications in a project. It is important because projects often have high levels of change. This change creates uncertainty and confusion for users and other stakeholders. A communication plan is one way in which these uncertainties can be avoided.

    b) Five typical elements of communications plan are:

    1) Who
    2) When or frequency of communication
    3) How or Communication flow
    4) What including security and confidentiality
    5) Feedback

    1) The communication plan needs to identify who are the stakeholders who need to be communicated with. This can be done at and individual or group level. So for example in a school, we might identify the Headteacher, heads of departments and teachers as different groups. This means we can target the communication at the different needs of the stakeholders. Grouping them all as staff could mean the coms plan was too generic.

    2) The plan defines the frequency of communication so as not to overload the team, and informs them of the expectations of them. This needs to conder the different information needs of different stakeholders. So, for example, a Head Teacher may need a daily briefing whereas the Governors may need an update once a month.

    3) It identifies the communication flow throughout the hierarchy and what types of communication that will be used. Who will receive what detail? So, for example, the daily Head briefing would cover the work for the day, whereas the briefing for governors would look at overall progress. In this way we don’t provide too much or too little information.

    4) For the purpose of security, confidentiality and governance, the plan informs who had access to what information. So, for example, some information in our school project may be in the public domain, such as the overall budget. But other information such as individual payments to contractors may be commercially sensitive.

    5) The plan ensures that the project gets feedback from the relevant people are informed and consulted with, ensuring that no one is forgotten. Such people would be the project team, internal and external stakeholders, suppliers etc. Without this, the project can go off track without getting sufficient input on key issues and risks. For example, in a new school build, we must check feedback from the parents the plans for the future of the school and how the project will affect their children’s education.

    #44759

    samkroberts
    Participant

    Thank you

    #44761

    Paul Naybour
    Moderator

    Sam, please do feel free to post some more answers and I will review them. I am away on holiday next week but I will pick them up when I return.

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