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Project Communication Management: How To Ensure Success?

Last updated on Nov 26,2019 7K Views

Swatee Chand
Sr Research Analyst at Edureka. A techno freak who likes to explore... Sr Research Analyst at Edureka. A techno freak who likes to explore different technologies. Likes to follow the technology trends in market and write...
9 / 12 Blog from Knowledge Areas

According to a survey report by PMI, it was discovered that because of ineffective communications, one out of every five projects is unsuccessful. To ensure a project’s success a project manager must curate an effective project communication management. In this Project Communication Management article, I will be giving you a complete walkthrough of how systematic communication is established in a project and what are the various processes involved in it.

Below are the topics that I will be discussing in this project time management article:

To master all the concepts of Project Management, you can check out our structured  PMP Certification Training program, where you will be guided by the PMP certified instructors.

What is Project Communication Management?

Project Communication Management, according to PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition,

Project Communications Management includes the processes necessary to ensure that the information needs of the project and its stakeholders are met through development of artifacts and implementation of activities designed to achieve effective information exchange. 

communication management - Project Communication Management - EdurekaIt is one of the ten key Knowledge Areas that lays the foundation of Project Management framework and plays a major role in keeping the entire project team on the same page. Without proper communication management, the entire project management framework can crumble down as a lack of communication may result in the breakdown in various processes. This can further put a negative effect on the final deliverable and thus resulting in an unsuccessful project.

Project Communications Management covers various processes which ensure that the correct project information is delivered to the correct teams and at the correct time. Effective communication helps in establishing a healthy relationship between diverse stakeholders with varying cultural and organizational backgrounds, expertise levels, interests, and perspectives. All together they can influence the project execution and the final product. The complete process of project communications management is an aggregation of two parts:

  1. The first part deals with the development of a strategy that ensures an effective communication system for stakeholders.
  2. The second part aims to perform the activities which are required for implementing the communication strategies.

On average, a project manager spends approx 85-90% of his total project time in communicating. Thus for a project manager, maintaining an effective communication flow becomes very important. In order to do so, he must decide on a project strategy at the very beginning of the project and follow it throughout the project lifecycle. Some of the highly recommended skills for a project manager that help in establishing effective communication are listed below:

  • Strong active listening
  • Proficient writing
  • Fluent speaking ability
  • Questioning and exploring ideas 
  • Establishing and managing expectations
  • Motivating team to become and stay engaged
  • Guide team to enhance performance
  • Conflict resolution
  • Ability to Summarize and reiterate 
  • Identify the next most efficient step

Along with the above-listed skills, a project manager must also follow the 5 C’s of communication that will help in creating an uninterrupted and systematic communication throughout the project. These five C’s are:

5 C's of communication - Project Communication Management - Edureka

In terms of project management, communication can be of various types:

  1. Written Communication: It is one of the most precise forms of communication that is transmitted via a correspondence medium. It can be further segregated into two forms:
    1. Written Formal: Project charter, scope statement, project plan, WBS, project status, complex issues, contract related communications, Memos etc.
    2. Written Informal: email, notes, letters, regular communication with team members etc.
  2. Oral Communication: This type of communication has a high degree of flexibility is done through the medium of personal contact, the team meets, telephonic etc. It can be further categorized into two forms:
    1. Oral Formal: Presentations, speeches, negotiations etc.
    2. Oral Informal: Conversation with team members, project meetings, break-room or war-room conversations etc.
  3. Non-Verbal Communication: It is the most basic form of communication and approx 55% of communication is done in this form. General examples of this type of communication are facial expressions, hand movements, the tone of voice while speaking, etc.

I hope now you have a better understanding of what project communication management is. In the next section, I will be talking about how communication management benefits an organization.

Communication Management Benefits

  • Expectations: Project communication plan helps in setting standards for how and when communication should take place. This aids a manager in maintaining the project control and ensuring that all the stakeholders receive the required information.
  • Consistency: With a proper communication plan, a project manager becomes more consistent in handling project activities. Also, it gives the team members a direction following which they can communicate with the rest of the team and stakeholders consistently.
  • Productivity: Efficient project management plan keeps all the team members well informed about the project happenings. This way they are always equipped with the information that they need instead of halting the work and look for missing information.
  • Outcome: It establishes a proper and clear communication channel between the team and the stakeholders which ensures that the team knows exactly what the stakeholders want, need and expect from the project output.
  • Controlled Communication: Communication management also ensures that the right information is delivered to the right people and at the right time. This leaves no space for ambiguity or confusion and provides a smooth flow of communication. 
  • Project Team Collaboration: Good communication often results in better collaboration among the team members and enhances focus on the whole.
  • Effective Kickoff Session: A well-organized communication management plan gives a good kick off to the projects as it ensures that the project and methodologies are discussed and reviewed at a high-level. Once this is ensured further communication processes are expressed and agreed upon by the team members which gives them a clear picture of what will happen next and what their role in the project.

Project Communication Management Processes

The project communication management Knowledge Area is made up of the following three processes:

CM processes - Project Communication Management - Edureka

1. Plan Communications Management

Plan Communication Mangement is the initial process of project communication management knowledge area. In this process, a systematic and effective plan is developed for the activities involved in project communication. It majorly makes use of the information like the requirement of each and every stakeholder and teams, organizational assets available and the project needs. Plan communication management process is performed in periodic intervals throughout the project life cycle. It primarily helps in the timely presentation of the relevant data through a documented approach that keeps the stakeholders engaged in an efficient manner.

Plan communication management involves various inputs, tools & techniques and outputs which I have listed in the below table:

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project Charter
  2. Project Management Plan
    • Resource Management Plan
    • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  3. Project Documents
    • Requirements Documentation
    • Stakeholder Register
  4. Enterprise Environmental Factors
  5. Organizational Process Assets
  1. Expert Judgment
  2. Communication Requirements Analysis
  3. Communication Technology
  4. Communication Models
  5. Communication Methods
  6. Interpersonal and Team Skills
    • Communication Styles Assessment
    • Political Awareness
    • Cultural Awareness
  7. Data Representation
    • Stakeholder Engagement Assessment Matrix
  8. Meetings
  1. Communications Management Plan
  2. Project Management Plan Updates
    • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  3. Project Documents Updates
    • Project Schedule
    • Stakeholder Register

2. Manage Communications

The second process of project communication management is Manage Communications which mainly aims to collect, create, distribute, store, retrieve, manage, monitor and finally dispose of the project information in an appropriate and timely manner. It is performed throughout the project lifecycle in order to provide an effortless and efficient flow of information from the project team to stakeholders and vice-versa. This process also helps in identifying different aspects of effective communication along with the most suitable methodologies, technologies, and techniques. Furthermore, it allows the entire communication system to be more flexible by providing space for any adjustments in methods and techniques. It helps in accommodating the changing demands and needs of the stakeholders without disrupting the communication flow.

In the below table I have listed down the complete list of inputs, tools & techniques and outputs involved in the process of Manage Communications:

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project Management Plan
    • Resource Management Plan
    • Communications Management Plan
    • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  2. Project Documents
    • Change Log
    • Issue Log
    • Lessons Learned Register
    • Quality Report
    • Risk Report
    • Stakeholder Register
  3. Work Performance Reports
  4. Enterprise Environmental Factors
  5. Organizational Process Assets
  1. Communication Technology
  2. Communication Methods
  3. Communication Skills
    • Communication Competence
    • Feedback
    • Nonverbal
    • Presentations
  4. Project Management Information System
  5. Project Reporting
  6. Interpersonal and Team Skills
    • Active Listening
    • Conflict Management
    • Cultural Awareness
    • Meeting Management
    • Networking
    • Political Awareness
  7. Meetings
  1. Project Communications
  2. Project Management Plan Updates
    • Communication Management Plans
    • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  3. Project Document Updates
    • Issue Log
    • Lessons Learned Register
    • Project Schedule
    • Risk Register
    • Stakeholder Register
  4. Organizational Process Assets Updates

3. Monitor Communications

Monitor Communications is the final process of the communication management knowledge area. This process ensures that all the information needs and requirements of the project and the involved stakeholders are met by its completion. It is performed throughout the project lifecycle and helps in optimizing the flow of the information as per the communication management and stakeholder engagement plan.

Below table contains the list of various inputs, tools & techniques and outputs involved in the final process of project communication management:

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project Management Plan
    • Resource Management Plan
    • Communications
      Management Plan
    • Stakeholder Engagement
  2. Project Documents
    • Issue Log
    • Lessons Learned Register
    • Project Communications
  3. Work Performance Reports
  4. Enterprise Environmental Factors
  5. Organizational Process Assets
  1. Expert Judgement
  2. Project Management Information System
  3. Data Analysis
    • Stakeholder Engagement Assessment Matrix
  4. Interpersonal & Team Skills
    • Observation/Conversation
  5. Meetings
  1. Work Performance Information
  2. Change Requests
  3. Project Management Plan Updates
    • Communication Management Plans
    • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  4. Project Document Updates
    • Issue Log
    • Lessons Learned Register
    • Stakeholder Register

So, this was all about Project Communication Management. If you wish to learn more about project management methodologies or project management certifications, you can check my other articles as well.

If you found this “Project Communication Management” article relevant, check out the PMP® Certification Exam Training by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. 

Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this Project Communication Management article and we will get back to you.

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Project Communication Management: How To Ensure Success?