A strong communication management plan is a key element in project success. Poor communication management within a project can quickly lead to a misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities, creating confusion and delays. This disconnect will cause the work of different stakeholder groups to become siloed and unable to blend harmoniously.
Strong communication skills underline everything we do at netlogx, and project management is no exception. Many of our netlogx consultants are Project Management Professionals (PMPs) certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI), thus netlogx is no stranger to the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK Guide) and the communication guidelines outlined in this methodology.
The PMI has identified four of the most important steps in ensuring effective project management communication. netlogx Project Managers and support team can help guide you and your project to success by helping your team adhere to these four steps defined by the PMBOK Guide.
- Identify Communication Requirements
The first piece of identifying communication requirements is to determine who needs what information. It sounds simple, but it’s very important to outline what successful communication looks like. One way to do this is to use the communication formula, as taught in the PMBOK Guide.
The communication formula is as follows: N(N-1)/2, where N is the number of team members. The result of the formula represents the number of possible communication channels. For example, in a team of five people, there should only be ten communication channels among the team. Each project stakeholder needs different information depending on their interest in the project. netlogx project managers will help you determine what information should travel along each communication channel.
- Identify the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How
- This refers to who needs to be communicated to.
- What message needs to be communicated? It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone on the project needs to know every piece of information.
- When should the information be communicated? What’s the timeline?
- Where should it be communicated? On an individual level or team level?
- Why is communicating this information important? What is the intent?
- How will the communication take place? Will it be via phone or email? Will it be a presentation to teammates?
- Identify and Accommodate the Enterprise Environmental Factors
Enterprise environmental factors should weigh heavily in deciding the appropriate project communication management process. Some enterprise factors that netlogx can help you take into consideration are:
- Organizational culture and structure
- Regulations the project must comply with
- The human resources the project will rely on
- The project’s work authorization system
- Marketplace conditions
- Stakeholder tolerance of risk
- Project management information system
- Identify Organizational Process Assets
Organizational process assets affect how different project stakeholders will communicate during a project. It’s important to review these elements prior to the start of the project. Some organizational process assets that netlogx can help you consider include:
- Policies unique to your organization
- Organizational guidelines, work instructions and performance measurement criteria
- Organizational communication requirements for all projects considering required and approved technology, security issues, archiving and allowed communication media
- Project closure requirements
- Historical information and lessons learned requirements
- Procedures and databases related to:
- Financial controls
- Issue and defect management
- Change control
- Risk control
- Project file structure, organization, and retention
Rajkumar, S. (2010). Art of communication in project management. Paper presented at PMI® Research Conference: Defining the Future of Project Management, Washington, DC. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.