Project Management 101: Basics for a Communications Strategy Plan

communicate photoPart of a Project Manager’s overall Project Management Plan should be a Communications Strategy Plan. This explains which communications will be distributed, what they are, and how and when stakeholders should expect them. Below are the essentials that I use in my Communications Strategy Plan.

  1. Introduction: A brief explanation of the items included in the document as well as the intent.
  2. Communications Approach: Process for communication throughout the life of the project.
  3. Roles and Responsibilities: List of participants and stakeholders with their responsibilities during the project. This can include a table with each participant’s name, role, title, organization or department, email address, and phone number.
  4. Tools and Techniques: Brief listing and explanations of the items, documents, and other techniques that will be used in the project. Below are examples:
    1. Milestone List: Simple table with milestone, description, participant, and date.
    2. Status Report: Usually a Microsoft Word document with milestones, activities, deliverables and statuses of tasks.
    3. Status Review: Typically meetings and/or conference calls with stakeholders to review status and discuss issues.
    4. Meeting Minutes: This can include participants and the date of meeting or conference call, along with announcements (new members, change of event), action items (with owner and due date), discussion (existing issues with state the outcome), status (summarize status for each area/department), and roundtable (free talk).
    5. Project Closure Report: Very simple document with start/closure dates, estimated hours versus actual hours, and lessons learned.
  5. Timing of Communication Activities: A table with communication type, description, frequency, format, participants/distribution, deliverable, and owner.
  6. Documentation Recording: The location or availability of all project documents for those intended.
  7. Participant Record: A table with name, company, role, phone number, email address, format of communication, and frequency of communication used for meetings and/or conference calls.

Communications Strategy Plan basics normally vary according to your business, company, and project(s). There are free templates on the Internet that you can use or follow. However, the items listed here are important pieces to keep in mind as you create your plan.

Originally published on Experts Pages on 8/12/13

About Sandy

Sandy is currently a Freelance Writer, IT Project Manager, and Program Management Office Manager. She has years of experience as a business professional in various industries (online and offline) including retail, food, technology, marketing, customer service, and fulfillment. She believes that as a work-from-home professional business is just as important in a remote setting as it is in a physical office.
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