Communications Planning: Essential to Project Planning


PMI’s 2013 Pulse of the Profession study showed that more than half the capital at risk on any single project is down to ineffective communication. Without effective communications planning, strategic initiatives cannot be fully and effectively explained, process and procedure are more likely to fall down, and completion times are almost guaranteed to exceed expectations. The result are unhappy stakeholders, with projects suffering from quality and cost issues.

Needs, Objectives, and Benefits of communications planning by the project manager

Communications planning is an integral part of project planning and helps the project manager to remain within the project scope, meet quality expectations, and deliver expected benefits. When considering the communication flow and need to communicate with all stakeholders, the project manager should:

  • Use different communicative channels for different audiences
  • The immediate need before the project gets fully underway will be for strategy and project objectives to be fully communicated to all stakeholders.
  • It may also be that communicative methods and channels will need to evolve as the project progresses.
  • Communication should encourage transparency between the project manager, clients, contractors, and other stakeholders.
  • Optimisation of communicative channels can only be made when appropriate technologies are used to reduce or eliminate communicative constraint, and the use of these technologies are acceptable to project management and stakeholders.


When communication is in tune with all stakeholders, only then will the project manager full maximize the time available to deliver the project benefits expected. Quality, cost, and delivery time are all dependent on effective communication to all stakeholders at all times, and that, just like all aspects of the project, will need detailed planning ahead of project start.

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