In small and large projects, effective communication is significant for project success. The project manager will always need to communicate with the staff, supervisors, and primary stakeholders to update them on the progress of the project or obstacles facing the project. Basically, it is required that the project manger be a person with good communication skills. Without this important quality the project will be at the risk of disintegration rather than integration. Therefore, successful Communication planning is a core ingredient in project management and success. The project manager may posses good communication skills, may have identified and analyzed key stakeholders, and finally determined the most effective communication channels, but without a well developed and implemented communication plan, the project still will be at the danger of failing. So, to develop a good communication plan is one of the key steps in ensuring that the project succeeds. To develop an effective communication plan one must first identify the stakeholder and determine the best means of communication (Kerzner, 2009). In this case, we are going to tackle two communication management plans that will ensure that there is communication throughout the project period.
Types of communication plans for IRTC project
A well structured communication plan is mandatory for any successful project right away from the beginning. Projects provide many opportunities for communications among all the interested parties. The following recommended two communication plans, will provide IRTC with a good base to exploit these opportunities.
- Regular communication plan
- One-time communication plan
Regular communication plan
Regular communications include those opportunities that the project manger has to share with the project team members, sponsors, key stakeholders and steering committee members on a regular basis. This communications usually entails projects regular status reports, planned project team meetings and monthly updates with steering committee. Here the project manger uses stakeholder’s analysis to develop regular communication for the project. Regular communication plan is reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that there is enough communication to stakeholders who are closest to the project (LaBrosse, 2004).
IRTC project stakeholders include; Project sponsor, Project manger, Project team, Billing department, IT department, Vendor and the clients.
The table below shows the kind of communications management that must be employed during regular or on-going communications.
|communication||purpose||stakeholders||Responsible party||Medium of communication||frequency|
|Monthly status report to senior management||To keep the senior management of the project informed of the progress or obstacles of the project||Project sponsors, project manager, IT team, billing department and clients||Project manager||Face to face
Email to list
Posting on project website.
|Once or monthly|
|Weekly schedule metrics
|Monitor and report the progress on scheduled tasks. Trouble shoot problem areas and solve the issues appropriately||Project management team, steering committee and others as appropriate||Project manager||Email to list
Steering committee meetings
|Project team schedule||Make aware project participants on key project dates and assist them manage their schedules. Keep training calendars.||All stakeholders(Project sponsor, Project manger, Project team, , Billing department, IT department, Vendor and The clients)||Project coordinator||Post on project folders||As many times a as updates will be needed.|
|Technical staff meeting||Keep technical staff aware of the recent developments. Maintain training schedules.||Technical staff vendor||Technical team leader||Face to face||weekly|
|Project status report||to keep the top management aware of project progress||Project sponsor, project manager ,project team||Project manager||Monthly|
The above table illustrates regular communication plan for effective project management throughout the life span of the project. As it can be observed communication is divided into various sections. There is communication with senior staff and communication with the real people on the ground who are implementing the project./ the frequency with which communication is initiated differs and depends on the type of stakeholders involved and the kind of communication that need to be conveyed. Project update reports to the senior project sponsors, are prepared and e-mailed by the project manager to the relevant parties or posted on the project website on monthly basis. On the other hand, departmental communications within the project intended to update the department on major issues or improvements or trainings are done on departmental meetings organized and presided over by the departmental leader on weekly basis. Special information is communicated to all stakeholders as needs will arise via the project website. Such communication involves all stakeholders and is presided over by the project manger/ coordinator.
One- time communication plan
During the lifespan of the project the opportunities may arise once and trigger event -driven communication. The project manager works together with the project team to identify these opportunities. This communication plan includes critical issues, sessions, training schedules, and roll- out schedules. This plan helps the project manager and the stake holders to capitalize on one-time opportunities for the success of the project. This kind of communication plan is reviewed on monthly basis so as to seize opportunities that come along as the project stages keep on changing (CIO.Com, 2010).
In developing communication plan, emphasis is put on the recipient more than the sender. It is important to consider the receiver as the focal point. Communication must be made deliberate and focused, so as to help reduce the number of problems and surprises that arise and have the project succeed (CIO.Com, 2010).
Information within the project will be shared via meetings, documents, emails, conferences calls, webcasts, video conferencing, public directories, and town hall meetings. These systems will be used throughout the development of the project as they will be found appropriate and within the budget. Meetings will be conducted regularly so as to evaluate the progress of the project or to discuss on the possible strategies to counter the obstacles of the project. During such meetings all the minutes will be recorded down and the documents kept for future reference. Information concerning project design and demonstration sketches should be shared via documents which are kept for reference all along the development of the project. Further, information gathered from small project meetings is shared with the top management via emails for them to be kept alert on major changes or developments of the project. In a nutshell, information sharing and recording within the project period goes around the above stated methods. Changes of meeting schedules and adjustments or abrupt meetings will be communicated via conference calls or email messages. To management will make general information to all stakeholders via emails or post the information on the project website. Public meetings in major town halls will also be organised to share information with the clients or allow the project employees to give their views and grievances if any.
Metrics are ways in which information sharing or effective communication success is measured. The project manger will ensure that all the necessary information is updated and provided to stakeholders as per the schedule. Updated information will be provided on the project website. Departmental Weekly meetings will help in capturing the metrics and any anomalies will be reported immediately via email or meeting minutes to the project manger who will communicate with the concerned parties for action (Kerzner, 2009).
CIO.Com., (2010). How to create a clear Project Plan, retrieved on March 14, 2010 from http://www.cio.com.au/article/166486/how_create_clear_project_plan.
Kerzner, H. (2009). Project Management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
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