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Communication Counts



One of the most important areas to manage for any project is communication. At the start of a project or any change in project leadership, all major communication activities should be carefully planned and agreed upon. 


A sample list of communication considerations on a project may include the following:


  • Sponsor Meetings

  • Executive Briefings

  • Steering Committee Meetings

  • Project Charter Review Meeting

  • Budget Review Meetings

  • Project Kick Off

  • Status Reports

  • Status or Progress Reviews

  • Issues Review

  • Risk Review

  • Regular Project Team Meetings

  • Project Sessions

  • Project Presentation Meetings

  • Deliverables Walkthrough

  • Post Project Review


Each communication category can be defined at a detailed level and include, at a minimum:


  • Title or Short Description 

  • Owner

  • Audience/Participants

  • Purpose

  • Frequency and Timing 

  • Inputs

  • Outputs

  • Method(s)


These are often summarized in a table view. I often create a spreadsheet to share, maintain, sort, and group based on attributes.


The following example highlights the level of detail each communication item should have.


Title or Short Description: Project Kick-Off Meeting

Audience/ParticipantAll Sponsors, Stakeholders, Project Team Members, Organizational Support Staff (Name them)

Owner: Project Manager (Name)

Purpose: Communicate project purpose, roles, responsibilities, high-level schedule, vital information, and ground rules.

Frequency and Timing: At or near project commencement, the Web Conference will be archived. (Actual dates are suggested)

Inputs: Project Charter, High-Level Requirements, Organizational Chart, Project Resource Chart, RACI, High-Level Project Plan, Human Resources Guidelines (Link to repository or updated reports)


Outputs: Project Kick-Off Presentation


Method(s): Meeting and Web Conference for those who can't attend.


The main goal of this planning is to advise all parties on the expectations and scheduled communication that must go on within a project and the details to go along with it. It is also important to ensure you do not miss inviting the key sponsor or stakeholder that can make or break your project.


With clear communication, project success can be improved. This is especially true when there are geographically diverse teams and mixed teams of consultants, employees, or vendors, although every project can benefit from thorough communication planning. Plan communication early, and you are one step closer to a successful project.


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