Creating a Project Communication Plan is an important part of a project manager’s activities. Project management practices include the creation of many documents, templates, and plans. Project Communication Plan is one of them. Of course, it must be done at the beginning of the project. It is the responsibility of the project manager to draw up a clear and detailed plan, but stakeholders must approve and accept it.
Example of Project Communication Plan
All people with low to medium involvement in the project and with a feedback time of more than 3 working days should be addressed by email. Communication with these individuals is usually strictly formal and all responses, approvals, and/or comments need to be in writing. According to the stakeholder table, email correspondence should be initiated with:
- Sam Jordan – Co-Founder and Global Director of Corporate Development
- Samantha Barbara – Global Supply Director
- James Cooper – Regional Director of Human Resources
- Martha Peterson – Regional Product Director
- Tom Paulson – CEO
- Dan Brian – Industrial Process Manager
- Patricia Washington – Quality Expert
- Jonathan Baker – Sales Expert
Email, phone, direct contact
The second category includes people with medium to high involvement in the project and with a feedback time of 2 to 3 working days, incl. They provide valuable information and take an active role in the direction in which the project is developing. Usually, their activity is slightly away from the main activities of the assignment and the completed tasks/responsibilities can be easily communicated by email or team operatives. The telephone remains a possible means of contact in cases of escalation or the need for a quick decision.
- Liam James – Senior Project Manager
- Jordan Markovic – Director of Investment Project Management
- Andrea Paulson – Research and Analysis Manager
- Barbara O’Brien – Cost Controlling Manager
- Anthony Rodgers – Design Manager
- Brian James – Digital Marketing Manager
- Brother Starr – Human Resources Manager
Email, phone, chat of the project
With high commitment and response time of 1 working day are the people who go down to the operational level of the project and play a key role in meeting the deadlines. Most people in this third category are internal to the organization, and communication with them can be easy, open, and spread most quickly and easily for everyone. An effective way is a specially created chat on the project, which will include the main actors with their teams, namely:
- Ivan Rodriguez – Project Manager
- Kate Paulson – Delivery Manager
- Kimberly Davidson – Production Manager
- Cheng Dong – Quality Manager
Decisions can be made over the phone with other managers who fall into the category of “High Commitment”, but, for better traceability of what is happening, it is good to follow them with a short written / email communication about the undertaking.
Strategy and themes/plan available only by project managers /
Which topics will be considered confidential?
linking the project with the global strategy of the company;
the monetary value of the implemented project;
personal data of partner companies;
conditions for concluding a deal with different suppliers.
Which participant will have access to what information?
The global strategy of the company is chosen by the board of directors and employees in senior management positions. Before selecting a specific project, a report-analysis is prepared on how the investment will affect the implementation of the selected strategy. The specific reasons for approval/refusal of a project submitted for approval are discussed by the company’s managers and at their discretion can be distributed to other employees/project team.
The project manager and the employees at a higher level in the company’s hierarchy are familiar with the monetary value of the project. The topic is confidential, as there is a potential risk between employees to start comparisons of how much income/expenses/salaries, there is a possibility that the information will be outsourced.
Only the employees of the Production team, who have signed the respective agreements for the protection of company secrets, should be acquainted with the technology of the implementation in detail. Otherwise, there is a risk that the information and the method of production will be exported to a competing company.
All units that communicate with suppliers, partner companies, and/or agencies work with personal data. Employees must be familiar with the process and regulations for personal data protection, to avoid potential risks/cases due to information leakage.
Only the employees of the Business Partnerships team should be acquainted with the specific conditions for concluding a deal. Different retail chains may negotiate different terms of delivery/sale of washing machines and this information is confidential to prevent potential conflicts with external companies.
Possible political answers in case of problems with:
Delay in time
If the problem is in the supplier/agency/state administration, the project manager should inform the client what causes the delay at the respective stage of the project and, if possible, propose how this delay can be compensated /e.g. replacement of the specific part with another model, which is available and it is not necessary to wait for delivery.
If the problem is internal and is caused by the contractor, the project manager should immediately assemble the project team and consider whether the deadline can be made up at a later stage of the project /e.g. priority approval of expenditure/conclusion of a contract; temporary inclusion of more people in the project team; simultaneous implementation of different stages of the project /e.g. marketing and search for business contacts /; overtime for 1-2 weekends, etc./. In case the delay is not possible, the project manager contacts the applicant client and tries to negotiate a postponement of the deadline. This hides its risks, as the company may incur a penalty for non-compliance with the contract. The Program Manager and the Project Director should be familiar with the case.
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If a poor quality part is received from a supplier – The necessary characteristics of the product are described in detail in the contract. In case the supplier company has not met the requirements, the project manager / Delivery team has the right to demand the return of the goods and re-execution and/or to refer to the contract and demand a penalty, and then to assign the execution to another company.
If the poor performance is caused by a participant in the project team – the Project Manager prioritizes the case with the manager of the respective team and, if necessary, the Human Resources team. If the problem is caused by a lack of training, it is planned as a matter of urgency. If the quality remains low, another employee is selected as a substitute. Such a change risks leading to a delay in time, which will require the appropriate measures described above.
Problem with the team
The main reason for the delay / poor implementation of the project may be the demotivation / leaving of employees. Not only does such a situation put the project at risk, but it can also put the whole company in a bad light on the market.
To reduce the risk, the project manager should have regular meetings with the individual teams of participants, receive and give feedback. Discussing and resolving problems will give employees a sense of belonging and a sense that their opinion has been heard.
Lack of resources
In the absence of financial resources /e.g. unforeseen increase in the prices of a given part /, the project manager analyzes the overall revenues/expenses of the project and assesses whether the expenses can be covered at the expense of the higher revenue part from another stage of the project. If this is not possible, look for a way to optimize another cost.
In case of exceeding the budget and impossibility for optimization, the issue escalates to a project director/management committee for possible transfer of funds that cannot be utilized in another project. If the product is still at the stage of coordination with the client, the project manager explains the situation and offers 2 solutions: replacement of the part with another more budget model or increase of the final price of the product.
In the absence of human resources, the project manager must prepare and submit for approval 2 solutions: overtime and overtime for employees involved in the project, or outsourcing of a specific activity to a partner company / in some cases the contract requires work with a subcontractor to be agreed with the client /. In case the lack of human resources leads to a delay in the project, the project manager should indicate the applicant.
Dissatisfaction and low motivation in employees
Low motivation and dissatisfaction are often due to the feeling that your managers do not notice/appreciate the work you do. Frequent contact with employees and discussion of topics/issues that interest them and for which they seek assistance is important. A possible strategy is an introduction of a bonus/stimulation system, which does not have to be monetary/team building, diploma, internal points ranking (the winner of the week receives a symbolic gift), etc./.
Dissatisfaction with the client
The most common reasons for customer dissatisfaction are the rise in the price of the product / non-compliance with deadlines/deterioration of quality. The project manager must monitor these main pillars of the project and maintain frequent communication with the client.
Dissatisfaction with the directors
Before starting the project, the project manager should agree with the program manager and the project director on which aspects of the project they will request information and at what time interval / e.g. every 2 weeks a report is prepared for incurred expenses/project stage/information whether it is on schedule/issues arisen / measures taken /. In this way, there is a possibility for a timely resolution of dissatisfaction.
Delay due to state regulations/administration and obtaining the necessary documents and certificates. Obtaining the necessary documents/licenses/permits can be quite a long process. A way to optimize it is the frequent and timely inspection in the respective agency, as well as the requirement of feedback for the stage of preparation of the document.
Suspension of deliveries
Contingencies on a global scale can lead to severe economic shocks for some companies, leading to delays/inability to perform contracted deliveries. The customer is notified immediately of the delay, and the Delivery team contacts the next best supplier company.
Lack of free storage space
The Logistics team monitors the available storage areas and provides a report/proposal for storage of the newly developed washing machines for at least the next two months. In case of potential lack of storage spaces, temporary storage facilities are sought and rented.
Insufficient results from the marketing campaign
In the absence of results, the marketing team prepares a proposal and adds various communication channels to the campaign. Costs and expected revenues should be provided for approval by the project manager.