What is a communication plan?
A communication plan is a simple accountability tool that enables you to communicate effectively with anyone involved in a project. It goes over the who, what, when, where, why and keeps everyone on the same page. That way you know who needs to be communicated with, what message they need to hear, and who’s going to help you do it.
Why is a communication plan important?
Expectations A communication plan sets expectations and standards for how and when communication takes place. It’s important to set a tone before the project starts on how communication will proceed so it’s an effective system from the start. If the communication plan is clear from the start it ensures that all stakeholders are receiving the necessary information. Setting standards for how team members communicate in emails, meetings, phone calls, and memos are important steps as well.
Consistency Having a well thought out communication plan will increase the consistency of how a project is handled. No matter who is responsible for a specific task, you know that it will be handled the same way. Also, consistently updating your stakeholders will make sure that any mistakes or delays are avoided.
Productivity Regular communication means that employees working on a project remain productive. They will feel more comfortable with their duties if they are kept in the loop on project updates because they are equipped with the necessary information to keep working, as opposed to constantly asking questions. Communication plans also allow for more collaboration which can be effective.
Feedback Communication plans allow for more feedback from stakeholders. It’s important to ask the people you’re communicating with how they want to be communicated to. Instead of assuming how you think they want to be communicated to, asking will ensure that the communication plan works for everyone which will lead to the success of the project and goals.
Reward Communication plans can pay huge dividends if you’re communicating with the right people in order to get the feedback and barriers removed that you need to keep moving forward with process improvement.
Download our free communication plan template here.