Effective Communication Plan

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The Importance of an Effective Communication Plan on Project Success
Project success is defined as achievement of an objective or goal that is implemented within budget, on schedule, and scope/quality. Effective communication to all stakeholders is critical to project success. A Project Management Institute Study (2013) found that “communication is what allows projects to function efficiently” (p. 12) and a PwC (2012) report stated, “organizations with effective and efficient communication methods are more likely to stay within scope, meet quality standards and deliver intended business benefits” (p.4). Traditional project management communication plans include objectives, channels, frequency, risks and stakeholder groups. Many of these
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Additionally, the plan should include a schedule for a regular review to ensure that the communications are still relevant and effective. I reviewed and compared two communication plans and a template for the following government projects: FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research-CDER Data Standards (CDER), the Geospatial Platform Outreach (GPO) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (template). All three plans include a background statement or introduction, goals and/or objectives, stakeholder analysis, and a communication matrix in a table format. The communication plans, as well as the template, meet the minimum communication standards, however, all three documents are lacking key messages about the business objectives and specific activities to increase stakeholder support. Furthermore, the template does not include any components that encourage end user engagement. Its primary focus is on communications amongst project team members and decision makers. While the CDER plan includes a semi-annual review process, the GPO plan and template do not. Without a regular review of the plan, there is increased risk that the project communications will be ineffective in meeting the needs of the stakeholders …show more content…
Additionally, the plan includes identification of feedback mechanisms and recognizes that the plan is a tool for encouraging project support. The plan includes a thorough analysis of the stakeholder groups and identifies the most effective communication methods for each group. In addition to the standard categories on the communication matrix, there is a feedback loop column that provides the project team with information on how effective the communication tools are in increasing project knowledge and participation. This feedback allows the project team to modify the communication channels, methods and frequency throughout the project lifecycle to meet the stakeholders evolving needs. Moreover, there are trigger events documented in the plan that clearly identify when there are additional communications needed. This plan also includes a list of communication risk and mitigation strategies, which can promote the importance of communications to project success. The CDER plan is more thorough than the other two plans and if updated regularly and implemented as documented, the likelihood of successfully executing this project

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