Good Tips on Developing a Communications Plan

September 12, 2010 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

Step 1: Analyze your existing communications environment. Single out strengths and weaknesses, and learn from past mistakes.

Step 2: Define communications objectives. Identify the top three objectives you want to achieve from your project communications. For example, you might want to inform stakeholders of the project progress; boost management buy-in; and improve your team productivity.

Step 3: Set communications guidelines. Guidelines might include: distributing all messages through pre-defined channels; obtaining management approval of all critical communications; and ensuring all communications will be tailored to different stakeholder needs.

Step 4: Focus on your target audience. Determine all the people your team will communicate with, and craft a single consistent view of your project.

Step 5: Address stakeholder needs. Remember that each group will need information pertinent to its needs. For instance, a project sponsor will need to be informed of risks and issues, while a quality reviewer will need to be notified about the status of project deliverables.

Step 6: Create key messages for each stakeholder. Messages might include project status, project issues, project risks, project deliverables or project resources.

Step 7: Identify delivery channels. As there are many ways to communicate with stakeholders, identify the channel/s you will use to deliver your key messages.

Step 8: Draft a communications schedule. Now, you are ready to create a detailed schedule of events, activities and actions needed to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time throughout the project. Westland recommends specifying the time frames for the completion of each item, noting any dependencies on other events in the schedule.

Step 9: Incorporate communications events. Describe each event in depth, ensuring you define the purpose of the event, how it will take place, and when it should occur.

Step 10: Map your communications matrix. Finally, you’re ready to put it all together in a matrix that lists each event, who is accountable for the event, who will take part, and who will review its success. Before you send your matrix to all concerned, get your manager to approve the entire communications plan.

Source: The Communications Plan by Herman Mehling


Entry filed under: Strategic Communications Plan. Tags: , , .

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