According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), effective communication is the key to successful project delivery. PMI’s PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) Guide, Sixth Edition, outlines that communication management is the most important responsibility of a project manager. This is because project managers spend nearly 70-90 per cent of their working time communicating the project requirements with the project management team and the stakeholders of the project. Therefore, every project manager should be aware of the communication management process for effective project management.
Communication Management Process
The manage communications process or communication management process is all about creating, collecting, distributing, storing, and retrieving project information according to the communications management plan. It helps project managers effectively communicate the project’s needs with the project stakeholders. Every vital information about the project life cycle must be shared with the project management team and the stakeholders to ensure the successful execution and completion of the project. Also, failure in communication management leads to project failures.
The communication management process is closely associated with stakeholder management as it helps in maintaining a continuous communication channel between the project stakeholders and the project management team. This also assists project managers in the decision-making process. Thus, all decisions can be made and applied swiftly with an effective communication management plan. The communication management plan includes all the necessary information required to ensure a smooth manage communications process.
Manage Communications Process Steps
There are three primary steps in the communication management process, these are:
- Plan Communications
- Manage Communications
- Control Communications
Communication management is a continuous process as there is a continuous need to share project information between the project manager, project management team, and the project stakeholders. The first step in manage communications process is planning. Here the communication management plan is created to define the project’s communication strategy. This plan is used as a guidance document for the entire project and must include all related information regarding the project. After creating the communication management plan, project managers manage and control the communications using certain tools and techniques.
Communication Management Process Components
The three components of the communication management process are as follows:
- Communication Management Plan
- Work Performance Reports
- Enterprise Environmental Factors
- Organizational Process Assets
- Tools and Techniques:
- Communication Technology
- Communication Models and Methods
- Information Management Systems
- Performance Reporting
- Project Communications
- Project Management Plan Updates
- Project Documents Updates
- Organizational Process Assets Updates
Each of the above components contributes to the increased efficiency of the communication management process. Thus, project managers must ensure that each step and component of the manage communications process are carefully maintained to achieve project success.
Communication Management Plan
The communication management plan is the document that guides the communication management process. It also states the who, how, and when of the manage communications process. Here are the main elements of the communication management plan:
- A complete list of all project stakeholders and their communication preferences
- Specific information to be communicated with each stakeholder
- Languages to be used in the preferred communication channels
- Frequency and time of the communications
- Designated professionals for communications
- Methods and tools used to share the project information
Creating and managing the communication management plan is an important project management function. Every successful project manager knows that an effective communication management process is the difference between project success and failure. Therefore, a thorough knowledge of the communication management process is a must for aspiring project managers. Project Management Professional (PMP) aspirants must prove their knowledge in communication management to become respected project managers. They must have the required communication and interpersonal skills as well as technical and performance reporting skills.
So, we can conclude that projects are bound to fail without an effective communication management process. Also, communication management is an ongoing process that project managers and PMPs should oversee from initiation until completion. This important project management activity can be achieved through project reports and documentation. Additionally, it helps organizations analyze the factors that led to a project’s success or failure. Thus, helping them rectify their mistakes or improve their operations to achieve consistent project success.
Aspiring PMPs can learn about the communication management plan to manage the expectation of the project stakeholders through feedback and performance reporting. The manage communications process is an essential part of the project life cycle. The latest PMP Exam Content Outline includes the manage communications section under the process domain, contributing 50% of the exam questions appearing in the PMP examination in 2022. Therefore, PMP aspirants must refer to the seventh edition of the PMBOK Guide to learn about the changes in the project management process concepts. And learn about the communication management process and the creation of the communication management plan to successfully clear their PMP certification examination and earn this prestigious credential.