Project Communications Plan Guideline

Guideline: Project Communications Plan
Purpose: The purpose of developing the Project Communication Plan
is to determine the information and communications needs of the
project stakeholders.
Last Modified Date:
May 11, 2011
According to the Project Management Institute, 75%-90% of a Project Manager’s time is spent
communicating. Since communications is a significant aspect of the Project Manager’s job, having a
Communications Plan is essential. The Communications Plan provides you with what the purpose of the
communication is, the method for communication, the audience of the communication, who will do the
communicating, and the frequency of the communication.
The list below is a brief description of the data elements from the Communication Plan template:
Project Communications Plan Data Elements
Description/Purpose of the Communication – list the type of communication planned. For
example, project status updates, vendor communications, etc.
Communication Vehicle – list the method to be used for the particular communication e.g. web
site, email, meeting, etc
Target Audience – list the recipients of the communication, e.g. Stakeholders, Steering
Committee, Team Members, etc
Author/ Owner/Approver – list to whom this communication task is assigned
Frequency – list the frequency of this communication
Comments – list any comments that would clarify this communication
Below are some communications items to consider for a project:
Who are the stakeholders? (This data should already be available from the Requirements
What information do the stakeholders want about the project? How much data do they need
and what phase(s) will they be interested in?
On what schedule do the stakeholders need status or progress reports?
In what manner will the information be provided? (Meeting, email, formal written report, etc)
Do different stakeholders need different mechanisms of communications?
How will you gather and store this information?
Would it be useful to provide a description of the information to be distributed. For example,
format, content, level of detail, glossary of terms, etc.
Who is responsible for what project activities?
When providing information keep the following in mind: be open about the project
status/progress, the status/progress data should be accurate, provide sufficient information to
the stakeholders but keep it simple and short.
Other communication mechanisms: Issues log, lessons learned, managing meetings effectively.