Plan Communications Process

Posted on March 24, 2009 by

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Plan Communications is one of the 42 project management processes described in the fourth edition PMBOK®. It’s one of the five Communications knowledge area processes, and one of the twenty Planning processes.

The purpose of this process is to create the Communications Management Plan based on the communication needs of the stakeholders. It must be documented who should receive what information, how often, in what format, and from whom. Information about the key stakeholders can be found in the Stakeholder Register and Stakeholder Management Strategy (both documents are from the Identify Stakeholders process). This is the starting place for performing Communication Requirements Analysis, which is the identification of the unique communication needs of the various stakeholders. In developing the Communications Management Plan, one needs to know what type of communication technology is available (phone, email, video-conferencing, etc.) and should have knowledge of Communication Models and Communication Methods. The primary output of the Plan Communications process is the Communications Management Plan, which becomes part of the overall Project Management Plan. This document can contain much information depending on the size and formality of the project, including stakeholder communication requirements, what information should be communicated and why, who is responsible for communications, when communications should occur, the time and budget allowed for communication activities, communication constraints, and information flowcharts.

Please also see the related, earlier posts of Identify Stakeholders Process (posted February 19, 2009) which is a predecessor to this process, and PMP Exam – Communication Formula (posted February 3, 2009), which is part of performing Communication Requirements Analysis.