The Communication Plan document is used to define the actions the process owner has to take to keep the stakeholders in the loop. It is a structured approach to plan for communicating with the stakeholders rather than leaving the communications to chance. Lack of proper and frequent communication is one of the major causes of project failure.
This tool can be added to your active workbook by clicking on Change and then selecting Communication Plan.
Click on Analysis Setup to open the menu options for this tool.
A sample screenshot of the setup menu is shown below.
Specify the tool format for this analysis. This selection is not enabled since there is only one format available.
Specify how many rows of data you need in your worksheet. The software will draw a border around these rows and clear any data below this table.
Click on this button to add an example worksheet. You can use the example to understand how others have filled out the tool or use the example as a starting point and modify it to better meet your needs.
Click on this button to open the help file for this topic.
Click on this button to cancel all changes to the settings and exit this dialog box.
Click on this button to save all changes and compute the outputs for this analysis.
Click on OK to save the control plan settings and enter the required data in the worksheet.
On the worksheet, enter the following details:
The audience or the key stakeholders you want to include in the communication plan. You may want to brainstorm with the team to identify all stakeholders - both who can impact your project and who are impacted by your project.
Enter the key messages you want to convey to your stakeholders. Enter only the high-level points that will be used to craft the real message.
Specify the channel for communication. The different types of channels can be face-to-face, email, video, phone, website, share point, notice board, etc. Use the channel appropriate for the type of communication you have. If you want someone to change their way of working, then your communication needs to be more personal.
Specify the frequency of communication. Some communication could be one-time-only, while others may require that the message be repeated at regular intervals.
Identify the sender of the communication. Some communication may come from the project leader while others may need to come from the CEO!
Specify when the communication needs to happen - this information can be updated to the project plan.
If you have any update on the status of the communication or feedback on how the communication is working, you can incorporate your comments here and use that information to further improve the communication plan.
If you click on the Checklist button, you will see the following dialog box.
The checklist contains a few pointers on things you need to pay particular attention to while performing this analysis. The checklist has been derived from experience working on past projects. Not all the checklist items need to apply to you. However, you should carefully review the checklist and apply any recommendations that make sense for your project. Make sure to read each checklist item and mark it as completed after you have read and taken actions as appropriate for your project.
If you click on the Verify button, the software will perform some checks on the data you have entered. A sample screenshot of the dialog box is shown in the figure below.
The objective of this analysis as well as any checks that are performed is listed in this dialog box. For example, the software may check if you have correctly specified the input options and entered the required data on the worksheet. The results of the analysis checks are listed on the right. If the checks are passed, then they are shown as a green-colored checkmark. If the verification checks fail, then they are shown as a red-colored cross. If the verification checks result in a warning, they are shown in the orange color exclamation mark and finally, any checks that are required to be performed by the user are shown as blue info icons.
Click on Compute Outputs to update the computation results. A sample screenshot of the worksheet is shown below.
There are no specific outputs from this analysis. Manually check it to see if there are any gaps or problems with the communication plan.
Here are a few pointers regarding this analysis:
Since there are no analysis performed on the worksheet, you can feel free to modify the format of the tool to meet your requirements.
For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles. Do note that if any external links are mentioned below, they are for reference purposes only.