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Create a professional communication plan document with this thorough template. This document steps you through all areas of communication pertaining to IT projects.
What is a Communications Plan?
A Communications Plan is a document that describes how you are going to communicate the right messages, to the right people, at the right time. It sets out the communications goals, stakeholders and strategies, as well as the communications activities and timeframes.
Your Communications Plan will describe:
- The communications objectives
- How those objectives will be accomplished
- The timeframes and effort involved
- How you will measure success
A clear Communications Plan is vital to the success of an organization. It is also critical to the success of projects, as it ensures that all of the staff, managers, suppliers and customers are kept properly informed of the progress of a project.
When to use a Communications Plan
If you have a wide variety of project staff, suppliers, customers and managers, then it will be worthwhile creating a formal plan for the communication of key messages to your stakeholders. By communicating in a more structured fashion, you will ensure that the communications needs of each stakeholder are properly met.
Of course, this plan does not negate the need to communicate informally on a project, or within a department, as well. You will still need to talk to your team about how they are doing with their assigned work, call managers and inform them of critical risks or issues, or schedule informal meetings to report on progress. Whichever way you do it, whether it be formal or informal, communicating properly can go a long way towards ensuring the success of your team objectives.
How to use this template
This document provides a guide on the topics usually included in a Communications Plan. Sections may be added, removed or redefined at your leisure to meet your particular business circumstance. Example tables, diagrams and charts have been added (where suitable) to provide further guidance on how to complete each relevant section.
Note: For smaller projects, your communications will be simple and may not require a lot of proactive effort. But as your projects become larger and more complex, communications events will need to be planned in advance, taking account of the needs of particular stakeholder groups. It is for larger more complex projects that a Communications Plan, such as the one stated in this document, will be required.