Knowledge Area: Project Communications Management

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Project Communications Management includes the processes that are required to ensure

  • timely and appropriate planning,
  • collection,
  • creation,
  • distribution,
  • storage,
  • retrieval,
  • management,
  • control,
  • monitoring, and the
  • ultimate disposition of project information.

All the stakeholders may have different cultural and organizational backgrounds, different levels of expertise, and different perspectives and interests, which impact or have an influence upon the project execution or outcome. Hence Project Communications becomes a very important aspect to ensure  all the Stakeholders are informed and the action for the activities continues.

 

Below are Project Communications Management processes:

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    1. Plan Communications Management—The process of developing an appropriate approach and plan for project communications based on stakeholder’s information needs and requirements, and available organizational assets.
    2. Manage Communications—The process of creating, collecting, distributing, storing, retrieving and the ultimate disposition of project information in accordance with the communications management.
    3. Control Communications—The process of monitoring and controlling communications throughout the entire project life cycle to ensure the information needs of the project stakeholders are met.

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Below are the communication activities but not limited to:

  • Internal (within the project) and external (customer, vendors, other projects, organizations, the public);
  • Formal (reports, minutes, briefings) and informal (emails, memos, ad-hoc discussions);
  • Vertical (up and down the organization) and horizontal (with peers);
  • Official (newsletters, annual report) and unofficial (off the record communications); and
  • Written and oral, and verbal (voice inflections) and nonverbal (body language).

Most communication skills are common for both general management and project management, such as:

  • Listening actively and effectively;
  • Questioning and probing ideas and situations to ensure better understanding;
  • Educating to increase team’s knowledge so that they can be more effective;
  • Fact-finding to identify or confirm information;
  • Setting and managing expectations;
  • Persuading a person, a team, or an organization to perform an action;
  • Motivating to provide encouragement or reassurance;
  • Coaching to improve performance and achieve desired results;
  • Negotiating to achieve mutually acceptable agreements between parties;
  • Resolving conflict to prevent disruptive impacts; and
  • Summarizing, recapping, and identifying the next steps.

 

Concluding Remarks: Project managers spend most of their time (close to 90%) communicating with team members and other project stakeholders, whether they are internal (at all organizational levels) or external to the organization. Effective communication creates a bridge between diverse stakeholders.

 

Source: PMBOK 5th Edition.

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