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Communication Management Approach

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Here you can find a simple Communication Management Approach in Microsoft Word/Excel format, along with explanation on how to use it.

Extra template: Communication Plan (see below)


We all know that communications is very important in project management. Most resources say that you have to spend between 80 to 90% of your time (as the Project Manager) on communications. But how? Document the answer in this document.

I’ve broken down the document into two, one that I’ve called Communication Management Approach, which is focused on the approach (rules of the game), and the other is what I’ve called Communication Plan, which is the executable plan. The second one is updated frequently, while the first one is not so dynamic. So, remember that in PRINCE2 these two documents are combined into one that is called Communication Management Approach.

My Communication Management Approach is mainly about describing the overall approach, and is the one that usually comes from the organizational level and is only tailored for the project. My Communications Plan is a stakeholder list, and our approach in communicating with them. The idea is to identify the stakeholders, and then:

  • Understand all their requirements. Note that some requirements come from stakeholders other than the customer (e.g. governmental organizations)

  • Keep them happy! This is done by understanding them, considering them, and properly communicating with them. Here you can plan how to do that, and this plan is mainly focused on the way you communicate with them, but feel free to add more information.

There’s a table there for defining different types of communication, which are different reports, and other elements, even phone calls. You define all of them and give them names, and then you go to the stakeholder list, and decide which method(s) will be used for each of them. Composition

The Communication Management Approach contains the following main sections:

  • Document information: this is the generic information about the document and connections with your Configuration Management system. Feel free to add more information here, but it’s best to keep it simple.

  • Approval: this section is for capturing approvals. There are multiple lines, because you may have multiple versions of this document approved. If you have a well-formed Configuration Management system to track approvals, feel free to remove this section.

  • The Approach: how are you going to succeed in your communications? For example, a good practice is to ask feedback for all communications, to make sure it’s done properly. Do you agree? Then add it to your Communication Management Approach.

The Communication Plan contains the following main sections:

  • Document information

  • Approval

  • Communication Methods: all your reports will be mentioned here, but don’t limit yourself to the reports. Also, note that each report can have multiple editions for different purposes (e.g. Full Highlight Report, Summary Highlight Report, Super-Summary Highlight Report).

  • Stakeholders: this is the list of stakeholders, with a field that mentions the communication method that you’ve selected for them.

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