Purpose of Communication Plan
The communication plan sets the standards for how and when communication takes place for the project/program. Based upon understood stakeholder expectations (interest and impact), the communications plan identifies communication objectives for the project/program, key messages for important questions, how participants will communicate, and the timing of communications. An effective communication plan introduces consistency to communications and messages, assists towards managing stakeholders during execution, facilitates team development, increases project/program performance, mitigates risks for a project/program, and is one of the most important enabling tools towards project/program success. The communication plan must give the different audiences what they want.
A communications plan is a living document that is created while the project/program is in planning. It will be monitored (along with the stakeholder register) and executed during project/program planning, execution, and closure.
Communication Plan Participants and Approvers
One of the most important sources of input is the Stakeholder Register, since it identifies stakeholder interests and impacts pertaining to the project/program. This should drive the content and timing of communication to stakeholders. Input into the communication plan may also come from other project documentation, feedback from the sponsor and/or project owner, or conversations with specific stakeholders about their communications needs and preferences.
- Review project information by reading documentation (stakeholder register, charter, project management plan), and discuss with the sponsor, project owner, and stakeholders.
- Create the communication plan. Examples of information that needs to be communicated on a regular basis may include risk, budget, schedule, status, key results, issues, and messages for buy in. The green italic text contains instructions for filling out the template and can be removed for the final version of the document.
- Review with applicable stakeholders, project team, sponsor, and project owner for accuracy and completeness.
Execute the communication plan, and modify as required until project/program is closed.