Weekly communications plan

In Project management on September 25, 2008 at 8:45 pm

In projects we generally use some form of communications plan to address stakeholder needs throughout the project. Something that I have been thinking about more and more is the need for a project manager to spend dedicated time communicating each week. That is, to allocate / plan time for specific communication tasks each week.

Previously, I communicated when I needed to. What this meant is that I relied on people to keep their word and complete the required work to the agreed quality, cost, time etc. It also meant that I relied on the sponsor and steering group supporting and promoting it as appropriate through their normal course of work.

Reality was quite different.

Starting this week, I reviewed the project schedule first thing Monday morning, and created a personal communications plan to cover off the key stakeholders for the week, key messages / questions, mode of communication, and timing. I then blocked out time in my calendar for dedicated communication activities.

I am at the end of the week today, and everything fell into place nicely. All work activities were completed as scheduled, the team and key stakeholders are up with the play, and I feel relaxed after what should have been a hectic week.

Improvements? Reflecting on the week, I would allocate more time to communication each week and potentially plan further in advance. Not sure how much in advance I could / should plan though as I already have booked team, sponsor, and steering group meetings scheduled for four months in advance.

In summary, book in time for communication each week – it is worth it on many levels: work gets done, the team and key stakeholders feel more connected, and your stress levels drop several metres.


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