Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Communication Management
Communication is one of the 9 topic areas of project management knowledge. Communication is essential to organisational life as it enables knowledge sharing, decision making, and performance. Effective communication engages employees in the culture and objectives of the organisation. It promotes teamwork and understanding. In order to manage programmes that are effective in achieving desired Impacts, effective communication in the organisation is essential.
Project Communication Management is the systematic planning, implementing, monitoring, and revision of the communication channels between the project team and the project stakeholders.
Project Communications Management has to employ "processes to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and ultimate disposition of project information". The main task of these processes is " to provide the critical links among people and information that are necessary for successful communication" (comp. PMBOK3, p. 221).
|In the structure of the project, communication management is considered one of the facilitating processes (along with quality planning, staff acquisition, risk response planning, procurement planning, solicitation planning). "Facilitating" does not mean unessential or optional: it only means that it is a process that varies in the sequence it is performed in parallel with other activities, and has a two-way feedback loop with many core processes. (core processes of project management instead are performed sequentially and are divided into phases of project Life: origination, initiation, design, execution and control and closure.|
When we communicate with colleagues, partners and external stakeholders, we enable informed decisions and give visibility to sponsors. In the development cooperation environment, "to communicate" is mainly to "build agreement" on how to achieve common objectives and how to reciprocally support and empower action partners. The sincerity and authenticity of communication are therefore the main drivers of successful development cooperation actions. (more in ⇒ "Cooperation and Communication"" the theoretical section of this handbook.
Most of the task manager's time is actually devoted to communication. The project manager spends an average of 90% of her time in communicating. Proper communication management is therefore essential for avoiding communication overload, which is the main driver of ineffectiveness of otherwise well conceived projects.
As organisations and institutions become "project based", there is an ever greater need to manage communication in a manner that supports and facilitates project management. The project team needs frequent information from each of its team members to complete and improve the project and to understand the needs and expectations of the project's beneficiaries. Project communication management aims at responding to communication requirements by generating, storing and disseminating project information in a timely and appropriate manner.
As in all professional activities, planning is necessary for achieving quality results. Through communication planning, we can better identify and manage project communication requirements. If we start planning communication right from the the very beginning of project life, then we will be able to involve project stakeholders in the participated process of decision making and project outputs will align to needs of all actors involved.
|Project Processes||Project Phase||Key Deliverables|
|Communication Planning||Detailed Planning or design stage||Example|
|Project information distribution||Project Execution and Control||Template - Project Status Report, List of things to do in order to illustrate a project|
Subsections of this chapter
- Communication Planning
- Cooperation and Communication
- The difference between "communication" and "information"
- The relational content of communication
- The Social Games
- The three major varieties of communication: propaganda, information, education
- The efficacy of communication dependent upon only one of its mode: either seducing or objective, or self-revealing
- The communication climate in Organizations and Teams
- Communication Skills
- Listening and Feedback
- Addressing misunderstanding
- Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Skills/Asking questions
- Do not be judgmental, lest…
- Encouraging Openness
- Communicating Credibility
- Building a Climate of Trust
- Behaviors that Endanger Trust
- Factors that may block the flow of information
- How to present an idea
- Knowledge Management