Globally, communication is considered a critical part of achieving tasks promptly. In project management, swift delivery of accurate information is critical to efficiently complete a project (Project Management Institute, 2017). A project manager has the responsibility of handling numerous responsibilities seamlessly with little or no setbacks. A communication management plan will help managers to define information flow and requirements from each assignment.
Bond-Barnard et al. (2018) assert that communication improves trust among team members and enhances collaboration. The plan elaborates the what, how, when and who questions when passing information. The details state to stakeholders how important the information is, who should receive it, when it should be received, how it should be received, and message frequency. The plan also contains how any changes in the flow of information should be handled and the escalation process in case of a constraint.
A server installation with assignments in separate geographical areas should have an elaborate communication plan on how each team should communicate and the hierarchy of information flow. The communication plan with globally interconnected stakeholders should have an elaborate guideline to avoid communication breakdown. All project specific communication will be done through the Rebooth application with project management and communication features. In such a project, the communication plan will give details of the communication responsibilities of each individual in the project.
A communication matrix will map the requirement of passing information. The communication management plan for this project will be specific on how to conduct meetings, frequency of meetings and the contacts of all the stakeholders.
Communications Management Approach
The project will use the Redbooth application as its main mode of communication and task management. The project manager will receive all important messages via e-mail. Team leaders from all seven locations should send any information that will affect the cost, delivery time, scope and quality of deliverables, as previously defined, to the manager as soon as possible. The aspects of Redbooth are task management, status updates, real-time communication, content management, chatting, discussion forums and language support for different nationalist (“Features of modern teams”, 2019). The software will help the project manager monitor and pass messages to any site location leaders. The manager will have daily meetings with the team leaders from all the message board locations, chat forums, or video conferencing.
The unit managers will share their documents through the Redbooth file sharing feature. Each team will have its unit discussion or communication forum to allow one unit leader per site location to communicate directly to the project manager. All site location managers should send their status reports every day by 6 am, and everyone, including the project manager, should be signed in by 6.30 am for the daily meeting. Additionally, projects often experience changes which might affect flow of communication. The project manager must develop contingencies in case of communication alterations that affect flow of information. Any changes must be escalated to the project manager for approval.
Communications Management Constraints
Communication will be required only on business days due to a tight budget. Workers are not permitted to carry home any company-issued computer, and all social media sites shall be disabled to avoid distractions during work. Outside stakeholders will only communicate with the project manager via Redbooth as detailed in the communication matrix to avoid unnecessary costs. There must be standard communication forms as detailed in “communication standards”. The interconnected stakeholders require that the vice president or any higher level employee is permitted to distribute sensitive information on behalf of the project. Furthermore, the project manager, in collaboration with the site team leaders will procure all the necessary licenses for all the site locations.
Stakeholder Communication Requirements
The project manager will contact all the seven stakeholders and determine an appropriate frequency of communication. The project manager will set up a message board where the stakeholders can voice their concerns. The communication panel will include the project manager, project sponsors and other stakeholders. They will be required to log in daily by agreed time of 10 am to get progress reports and ask questions. The project manager will ensure that all the outside stakeholders have a secure Redbooth access to communicate with the project manager.
Communication Methods and Technologies
The project will use Redbooth as its main mode of communication and project management software. All the aspects of Redbooth are task management, status updates, real-time communication, content management, chatting, discussion forums and language support for different nationalist in the project. The application will allow every member of the project to communicate promptly. It will also allow the separate communication platforms for every unit within the project. The application also provides for separate levels of authorizations for every individual in the project. The project manager will have the highest level of clearance in the application.
The project manager will develop a communication matrix which will be maintained by the team leaders. Everyone involved in the project must adhere to the matrix. Any changes will be handled and communicated by the project manager to the members of the project. The following table identifies the communications requirements for this project.
|Communication Type||Objective of Communication||Medium||Frequency||Audience||Owner||Deliverable||Format|
|Kickoff Meeting||Introduce the project and all the site team leaders. Explain the aspects, management approach and objectives of the project.|| ||Once|| ||Project Manager|| || |
|Project plan||Review status of the project with the team.|| ||weekly|| ||Project Manager|| || |
|Status reports||Discuss any setbacks or bottle necks.|| ||Daily|| ||Project Manager|| || |
|Technical Design Meetings||Discuss and develop technical design solutions for the project.|| ||As Needed|| ||Technical Lead|| || |
|Monthly Project Status Meetings||Report on the status of the project to management.|| ||Monthly|| ||Project Manager|| || |
|Project Status Reports||Report the status of the project including activities, progress, costs and issues.|| ||Monthly|| ||Project Manager|| || |
The flow chart will aid in project communication by providing a framework which members can follow within the project. Scenarios that are outside the flow chart should be escalated to the project manager to handle alone or with consolation with higher authority.
The project manager will create a network diagram using Microsoft vision and upload it in the Shared Network Diagram Folder. The file will have a standard naming in the format of Location_Country_Author’s Name_Building Area.vso. As stated earlier, each unit shall communicate via message board and every team leader in the units will communicate with the project manager through email, message board or chat. There will be a standard form for filing information in the message board and an emergency form for an emergency email. There will be other standardized forms in Blank Standard Form Folder for other communication purposes.
The project manager will communicate with the outside stakeholders through e-mails. Stakeholders within the project can be reached via the Redbooth application. The project manager and team leaders will develop minute’s templates for team meetings, monthly meetings, technical meetings and status reports meetings. Additionally, any informal communication must be professional. However, there will be no standard template for informal communication.
Communication Escalation Process
Every site location has a unique escalation procedure because of the geographical separation. Challenges in the units are escalated to the team leaders in those units. Any unforeseen circumstance that can affect the overall cost, timelines or quality of the project should be reported by the site manager to the project manager immediately using the emergency form. The project manager will handle the situation through a meeting with the responsible unit manager or escalate the matter to authorities if necessary. The project manager can handle the problem or consult with the vice president or higher authority. The project manager will use the table below to contact the relevant persons.
|Priority||Definition||Decision Authority||Timeframe for Resolution|
|Priority 1||Will have adverse effects on the project. Must be resolved in the shortest time possible to keep up with project deadlines.||Vice President or higher||Within 4 hours|
|Priority 2||The effect to business operation can be adverse if not handled efficiently.||Project Sponsor||Within one business day|
|Priority 3||May cause minor delays on the project schedules with no adverse effects on business operations.||Project Manager||Within two business days|
|Priority 4||Insignificant to business operation or the overall project outcome. Despite this, better solution should be found to streamline operations.||Project Manager||Work continues and any recommendations are submitted via the project change control process|
Glossary of Communication Terminology
|Communication||Exchange of messages by writing, verbally or through a video conference facility. There must not be distortion of the original information.|
|Stakeholder||An individual or a group with vested interest in a project. The outcome of the project can affect them positively or negatively.|
|Communications Management Plan||Part of the project management plan which entails how communication will be handled in the duration of the project. The plan elaborates on who, what, where and when aspects of communication.|
|Escalation||The process of passing disagreement to higher authority to get a solution. The escalation process should have specific timelines to keep up with the project deadlines.|
|Redbooth||An application that helps manage large groups of people in a project. It has numerous platforms which include message boards, video conferencing, e-mail and file sharing.|
Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge, PMBOK guide (6th ed.). Independent Publishers Group.
Bond-Barnard, T. J., Fletcher, L., & Steyn, H. (2018). Linking trust and collaboration in project teams to project management success. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11(2), pp. 432-457. Web.
Features of modern teams. (2019). Redbooth. Web.