Communication Management Strategy Template

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Purpose

A Communication Management Strategy contains a description of the means and frequency of communication to parties both internal and external to the project, e.g. what is being communicated, to whom is it being communicated, and how often. It facilitates engagement with stakeholders through the establishment of a controlled and bi-directional flow of information.


Advice The Communication Management Strategy is derived from the: Corporate communications policies (e.g. rules for disclosure for publicly listed companies); The programme’s information management strategy; Other components of the Project Initiation Documentation (in particular the project management team structure, the Risk Management Strategy, Quality Management Strategy and Configuration Management Strategy); Facilitated workshops/informal discussions with stakeholders; and Stakeholder analysis. A Communication Management Strategy can take a number of formats, including: Stand-alone product or a section in the Project Initiation Documentation; Document, spreadsheet or mindmap; Entry in a project management tool.

The following quality criteria should be observed:

  • All stakeholders have been identified and consulted for their communication requirements
  • There is agreement from all stakeholders about the content, frequency and method of communication
  • A common standard for communication has been considered
  • The time, effort and resources required to carry out the identified communications have been allowed for in Stage Plans
  • The formality and frequency of communication is reasonable for the project’s importance and complexity
  • For projects that are part of a programme, the lines of communication, and the reporting structure between the project and programme, have been made clear in the Communication Management Strategy
  • The Communication Management Strategy incorporates corporate communications facilities where appropriate (e.g. using the marketing communications department for distributing project bulletins)



Content of the Communication Management Strategy Document

What does the Communication Management Strategy document contain? It contains a description of the means and frequency of communication to internal & external parties. This can also include the Programme Management if the project is part of a programme. The Project Manager is responsible for creating the Communication Management Strategy during the Initiation Phase of the project. This should be reviewed during the Managing a Stage Boundary Process to ensure that key stakeholders are receiving the required communication. The Communication Management Strategy document contains the following information:

  • An introduction to remind the reader on the purpose of the document for this project.
  • Communication Procedure: A description of the communications methods that will be used, such as electronic mail, meetings, and presentations.
  • Tools & techniques, such as e-mail, internet, newsletter.
  • Reporting: Types of reports and the information they should contain.
  • Timing states when communication activities will be done.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: Who will handle the communication?
  • Stakeholder Analysis: Type of Stakeholder and the desired relationship with Stakeholder.
  • Information Needed: Information required from project, including the frequency of the communication and the format of it.

You may be thinking, “Another management document to create?” Well, if you work in a programme environment or have worked on a similar project, then you would already have a template to work from; this can be customized to suit your project. expected.


Introduction

(States the purpose, objectives and scope, and identifies who is responsible for the strategy)



Communications Procedure

(A description of (or reference to) any communication methods to be used. Any variance from corporate or programme management standards should be highlighted, together with a justification for the variance)



Tools and Techniques

(Refers to any communication tools to be used, and any preference for techniques that may be used, for each step in the communication process)



Records

(Definition of what communication records will be required and where they will be stored (for example, logging of external correspondence))



Reporting

(Describes any reports on the communication process that are to be produced, including their purpose, timing and recipients (for example, performance indicators))



Timing of Communication Activities

(States when formal communication activities are to be undertaken (for example, at the end of a stage) including performance audits of the communication methods)



Roles and Responsibilities

(Describes who will be responsible for what aspects of the communication process, including any corporate or programme management roles involved with communication)



Stakeholder Analysis

Interested Party[1] Current Relationship Desired Relationship Interfaces Key Messages
         
         
         
         
         


Information Needs

Interested Party Information for Distribution Information for Collection Information Provider and Recipient Frequency of Communication Means of Communication Format of Communication
             
             
             
             
             
  1. This may include accounts staff, user forum, internal audit, corporate or programme quality assurance, competitors etc.