Step 10: Create a Communications Plan!
An especially important aspect of the project plan is the Communications Plan. This document states such things as:
- Who on the project wants which reports, how often, in what format, and using what media.
- How issues will be escalated and when.
- Where project information will be stored and who can access it.
For complex projects, a formal communications matrix is a tool that can help determine some of the above criteria. It helps document the project team's agreed-on method for communicating various aspects of the project, such as routine status, problem resolution, decisions, etc.
Once the project plan is complete, it is important not just to communicate the importance of the project plan to the sponsor, but also to communicate its contents to all members of the project team. This communication should also include topics such as:
- Review and approval of the project plan.
- Process for changing the contents of the plan.
- Next steps executing and controlling the project plan, and key stakeholder roles/responsibilities in the upcoming phases.