Chapter 4. Planning for Communications

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the demand of communications

  • Building an effective communication management plan

  • Determining which stakeholders need communication

  • Defining the communications modality

According to the kind‐hearted folks at the Project Management Institute, project managers spend 90 percent of their time communicating. That hardly leaves time for coffee breaks.

But if you think about it, isn't that what you're doing as a project manager? No, not taking coffee breaks all day, but communicating. You constantly take calls from stakeholders, visit your project team members, participate in project status meetings, zip off e‐mails, and more. We imagine even your coveted coffee breaks actually center on communications.

Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, drives what project managers do. In fact, effective communication drives just about every aspect of a project manager's activities. Likewise, ineffective communication can have disastrous effects. Ever have a misunderstanding about the requirements of a project? Ever show up for a meeting and be the only one there because you misunderstood the start time? Ever create an in‐depth proposal when the stakeholder actually just wanted a short memo about whether the software could do a specific action? Poor communication costs time and money and causes headaches.

Communication skills aren't easy to cultivate. If they were, everyone would communicate brilliantly and we'd live in a world free of ...

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