November 24, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Communications Management Best Practices

Project Communications Management – Main Piece of the Puzzle?

Project Communications Management Best Practice audio

project communications management

As part of the project management best practices posts, project communications management is a topic that is close to my heart. Project communications management is probably the main piece of the puzzle when it comes to best practices for running successful projects. I know that it has been one of the best reasons for my track record of successful projects.

It is an accepted fact that communications will take up about 90% of a project manager’s time. This is the reason why I start with project communications management as a best practice and excellent communication skills are at the top of the list for a skilled project manager.

What is project communications management?

In theory project communications management is about appropriate generation, collection, storage and distribution of project information. During the project planning it requires determining the information and communications needs of stakeholders, during execution it is about distributing the information in a timely manner, doing status reporting and progress measurement, during closure it is about gathering information to formalize project completion.  How is all of this applied in practice?

This is where you must pay special attention…

When is project communications management a best practice? project communications management

For project communications management to be used as a best practice, it needs to be applied in a regular, consistent manner throughout the life cycle of a project, from initiation, to planning, during execution, controlling and closing. Project communications management must be done to the point where it becomes a routine task on the project. It keeps all stakeholders well informed and gives them the re-assurance that the project is in good hands. (That is what project managers are paid for, not true?)

Project communications management in 4 simple steps

1. Project communications management needs to be planned for:

  • Who needs what project information?
  • When do they need it?
  • How will the information be given?
  • By whom?

Document in your communications management plan which information will be written, which will be oral (progress meetings, presentations), whether it is formal or informal. How will information be stored and distributed. The communications management plan is part of the overall project plan and can be as simple as a one-page communications matrix to a detailed communications plan depending on the size and complexity of the project.

2. How will information be distributed?

Information distribution is about making information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner. It deals with how the information will be stored, shared and exchanged (written, oral, internal, external, formal and informal, etc)

3. Report on performance

Performance reporting is to provide stakeholders with information about project status, progress and forecasting. It generally provides information on scope, schedule, cost and quality, as well as on risk and procurement where applicable.

4. Project is done and how do you communicate that?

Project administrative closure is a neglected aspect of Project communications management, but this is where project results are reviewed and documented. This is where project success is analyzed, lessons learned are discussed and archived. communications management skills

Make project communications management your strong point

Following this project communications management best practice, will lead to a well structured project and a consistent performance by the project manager. If you practice your project communications management skills, you will be well on your way to be an efficient project management professional.

In my next post I will share a case study to illustrate that applying project communications management as a best practice, will inevitably lead to a successful project.  Please subscribe to my RSS if you don’t want to miss the project management best practices future blog posts.
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Comments

  1. Paul Mayes says:

    I have mentioned your really useful post in my blog at http://betterprojects.jiscinvolve.org/2010/01/31/project-communication-management/

  2. Paul, thanks for using a post on communications best practices as contribution for your discussions. I’m glad to be of value and I would be happy to make similar contributions in future.
    Your Virtualpm

  3. Noah, email marketing manager says:

    Really nice page, Thanks! Enjoy your day!

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