← Back to Blog

Creating a successful project communication plan: a step-by-step guide

minute read
Get your project management success with Bonsai
Get your project management success with Bonsai
Try it free
Updated on:
June 5, 2024
June 5, 2024
Table of contents
Get your project management success with Bonsai
Discover Bonsai all-in-one business management software.

An effective project communication plan ought to be strategic. This is evident by starting to define project roles, and thus knowing who your project's team members are. The project manager is obliged to identify suitable channels of communication that will ensure that project status updates are communicated effectively or any vital detail about the project deliverables. Develop a communication strategy that will keep the features of the project at par with the project. This means that a communication strategy ensures that the project stakeholders are ever informed and supportive of the goals of the project. Finally, an articulated project management communication plan creates betterment in the overall process of project management, ensures compliance with the project timeline, and offers improvement in the probability of success of the project plan.

Understanding the importance of a project communication plan

A project communication plan is core to the success of project management. A project communication plan is a guideline, specification of the strategy of communication including the communication channels to be used to communicate a project status update. It helps keep project stakeholders, including team members, and the project manager informed about project roles, the project timeline, and any changes in project deliverables. This process enhances team collaboration, ensuring all members are on the same page and working towards a single goal. The project communication plan will also solicit support from the stakeholders as they will remain updated and involved throughout the project. In this regard, the project management mode of communication plan hence assures better control and success of the project plan.

Role of communication in project management

In project management, effective communication is pivotal for seamless operations and successful project deliverables. The project manager needs to establish robust communication channels to maintain regular project status updates, fostering team collaboration, clarification of project roles, and generating stakeholder support. One of the significant steps in this process is the development of a project management communication plan which details ways in which project stakeholders will be informed on the project plan, project timeline, and engaged through all the steps of the project. Miscommunication or no communication in a project leads to misunderstanding, affects the understanding of project team members about their roles in a given project, and affects the morale and productivity of the project team.

Impact of effective communication on project success

Effective communication is the foundation of good project management. It is the backbone to ensure that project roles are well understood and that project status updates are issued to all the team members to ensure all of them are on the loop of the project plan and the timeline. This boosts team collaboration and speeds up the realization of project deliverables. Second, sealing holes in the communication plan, through the development of a good communication strategy with designated communication channels, makes correspondence between the project manager and project stakeholders seamless. This in turn fosters stakeholder buy-in and will go miles in the actualization of a project management communication plan without much of a hassle.

Key elements of a project communication plan


A Project Communication Plan is a good communication strategy that is essential in sound project management. It clearly defines the means of communication which the project team, the project manager, and the project stakeholders will use to distribute the project-related information. The plan also assigns the project-related roles to each member to enhance team collaboration. Planning also helps to define how the project status update, project timeline, and deliverable discussion will be given to ensure that everyone knows, accepts the information, and aligns themselves with the project plan. Continuous communication increases stakeholder buy-in and is the missing puzzle that makes the project management communication plan actualization easy.

Communication objectives

The main communication objectives in project management seek to ensure that all stakeholders in the project are availed of realistic and timely project status. Project managers should ensure that the flow of communication is maintained so that any changes in the project plan or project timeline are communicated to all relevant project stakeholders. The effective communication strategy involves the close collaboration of a team. All the team members should be aware of their project roles and the general project deliverable. Such a strategy provides stakeholder support and guarantees the success of the project management communication plan.

Stakeholder analysis

In project management, stakeholder analysis aids in understanding the interest and influence of project stakeholders. He must remember the perspectives and possible contributions of all interested parties, such as project team members or other parties affecting the shaping of the project plan and the timeline. Such stakeholders majorly affected by the project roles play a major part in determining the communication strategy. This usually comprises a particular approach to channels of communication for project status and team updates. Thus, a considerate project management communication plan ensures seamless transmission of information regarding the project deliverable and ensures stakeholder support.

Communication methods

Effective communication is an important component of project management. The project manager is expected to come up with an elaborate communication strategy that should contain the key project roles, preferable channels of the provided information, and also the time of project status. Regular and transparent communication ensures that all the other team members and project shareholders are on the same page—well-informed and knowledgeable—regarding the project plan, project timeline, and project deliverable. That is how team cooperation and stakeholder support are established. The basis of a good project management communication plan entails listening, collaborating, and responding to all the project stakeholders to solve impending problems that may occur and deliver project success.

Frequency of communication

Frequent communication is an integral part of project management. It is the obligation of a project manager to decide the usage of the project frequency and the communication tools in updating the status of the project and information to be conveyed. A good project communication management plan, therefore, is a guide to the keepers of the torch on the open communications between team members and stakeholders of a project. Project plan and project timeline direct the number of such project communications that are a must to attain team collaboration. A good communication ensures that the whole team comprehends the roles in the project and that the status of the project deliverable and promotes stakeholder support. Therefore the need to have a good and effective communication strategy to handle proper project execution and increased participation of all project stakeholders.

Responsibility for communication

The project manager plays the most significant role in the project management communication plan. They ensure the perfect execution of a good communication strategy, deciding on good channels of communication that will ensure that aspects of the projects reach all team members and stakeholders the fastest way possible. They are also responsible for creating teamwork to build rapport among team members and, thus, increase the general team productivity. The project manager looks at project roles and project timeline when it comes to developing the project plan on communication management. Project deliverable, which communicates that the project team fully comprehends and agrees in good faith with the deliverable, is critical to the success of a project. The project plan also entails stakeholder support, whose involvement can affect the outcome of the project. It is, therefore, very crucial to communicate with them openly and regularly.

Steps to create a project communication plan


Creating a project communication plan is a crucial part of project management. Firstly, the project manager should identify the team members, project roles, and project stakeholders. This aids in understanding who needs to be involved in various communication channels. The project manager will then be responsible for defining a clear communication strategy which should include the frequency of project status updates and the protocol for discussing project deliverable.

Following this, a detailed project plan should be structured including the project timeline and methods for team collaboration. Gaining stakeholder support throughout this process is essential in order to secure successful project execution. Thus, a comprehensive project management communication plan becomes an essential tool in project execution.

Identifying stakeholders and their communication needs

Successful project management requires a meticulous identification of project stakeholders, which include the project manager, project team, and those who have vital project roles. Each of these stakeholders have unique communication needs, necessitating an effective project management communication plan to ensure clarity and cohesion.

This communication strategy could involve various communication channels like emails, meetings, and project status updates for constant apprise on the progress of the project timeline and deliverables. This strategy facilitates team collaboration and secures stakeholder support, vital for the successful execution of the project plan.

Defining the communication goals

The communication goal of the project management is to keep all project stakeholders adequately informed about project status updates and project deliverables at all times. It involves fostering team collaboration among project team members using effective communication channels. The project manager plays a key role in implementing this communication strategy.

Additionally, the communication also ensures all project roles are well-defined and aligned with the project plan and project timeline. The ultimate objective is to attain stakeholder support throughout the project lifecycle with the help of a well-structured project management communication plan.

Choosing the right communication channels

In project management, choosing the right communication channels is crucial for enhancing team collaboration and ensuring all project roles are well-articulated. The project manager plays a key role in defining the communication strategy. These channels may range from project status updates meetings, emails to collaborative platforms.

It's essential to consider the various needs of the project team and project stakeholders. This ensures timely up to date on the project plan and the project timeline, contributing to overall stakeholder support.

Moreover, the project management communication plan should align with the project deliverable for maximum efficiency and productivity.

Setting the communication schedule

In project management, establishing a communication schedule is critical. It involves setting a routine for project status updates to keep team members and project stakeholders informed. The project manager determines the frequency of updates according to the project timeline and deliverables.

The communication strategy outlines the following:

  • Assignment of project roles and their corresponding communication channels.
  • Process for team collaboration and stakeholder support.
  • The project management communication plan, which includes the project plan and objectives.

Assigning communication responsibilities

The project manager bears the responsibility of executing the project management communication plan. This entails deciding the communication channels, establishing the project roles among team members, and ensuring regular project status updates. The emphasis is on keeping project stakeholders updated, fostering team collaboration, and ensuring stakeholder support.

Key communication tasks include sending out project deliverable notifications, arranging team updates, and making changes to the project plan. All communication must align with the timeline to ensure successful project management.

The communication strategy relays important project metrics, keeps team members in the loop, and values transparency above all. Appropriate and timely communication is crucial to propel any project forward successfully.

Best practices for implementing a project communication plan

In project management, a well-structured project communication plan is vital. A project manager should clearly assign project roles at the outset, ensuring all team members understand their responsibilities and have access to necessary communication channels. The strategy should foster team collaboration and ensure project status updates are shared promptly.

Furthermore, the communication plan should include a project timeline, important milestones, and project deliverables. This will help project stakeholders to better understand the project plan and provide necessary stakeholder support.

Lastly, the project management communication plan should be flexible to adapt to changing project scenarios. Reviewing and adjusting the communication plan at regular intervals helps to keep up with project requirements.

Ensuring consistency in communication

In project management, consistency in communication is crucial to align team members, project stakeholders, and project roles. This can be achieved through a well-defined communication strategy, using reliable communication channels and ensuring regular project status updates. Team collaboration and stakeholder support often depend on these elements.

A project manager also needs to maintain consistency while updating the project team about the project deliverable, timeline, and the overall project plan. A comprehensive project management communication plan can help in ensuring this consistency and circulate necessary updates efficiently and on time.

Using project management tools for communication

Project management tools are vital for effective team communication. They provide platforms for team collaboration, ensuring all project team members are up-to-date with project status updates and changes in the project timeline. A well-structured project management communication plan specifies project roles and the most appropriate communication channels for interacting with various project stakeholders.

The project manager uses these tools to present progress on project deliverables, thus principally fostering stakeholder support throughout the project plan implementation. With a well-crafted communication strategy, these tools greatly enhance the efficiency and success of project management.

Regularly reviewing and updating the communication plan

In project management, maintaining a robust project management communication plan is pivotal. It is incumbent upon the project manager to regularly review and update the communication plan. This ensures that the project team, team members, and project stakeholders are always in sync.

Key elements to focus on include the communication channels, project status updates, and the overall communication strategy. Regular revision guarantees that all project roles have clarity about their tasks and team collaboration is optimized ensuring timely completion of project deliverable within the project timeline.

By doing so, the project manager not only secures stakeholder support but also keeps the project plan on track, leading to successful project culmination.

Role of project management software in communication


Project management software plays a pivotal role in facilitating efficient communication within a project team. It helps the project manager establish beneficial communication channels, define project roles, and develop a comprehensive project management communication plan. This streamlines the communication process, ensuring every team member is updated about the project status.

Pertinent keywords include project management, communication channels, project stakeholders, project roles, project manager, project team, project status updates, project deliverable, team collaboration, project plan, project timeline, stakeholder support, and project management communication plan. Through project management software, all changes in the project timeline, project deliverable and any required stakeholder support can be communicated effectively.

Moreover, it fosters team collaboration, ensuring any adjustments in the project plan are efficiently dealt with. Ultimately, the efficient use of communication strategy decreases chances of misunderstanding thus increasing the project’s probability of success.

Benefits of using project management software like Bonsai, Trello and Asana

Project management software like Bonsai, Trello and Asana makes managing project deliverables and project timeline effortless for the project manager. It serves as a unified communication channel for project team members and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of the project roles and status updates. This not only enhances team collaboration but also helps to keep track of tasks and deadlines.

These programs can significantly streamline the communication strategy, making it easier to offer stakeholder support. They keep all team members and project stakeholders updated with a project management communication plan, making it an indispensable tool for all project managers.

Get paid faster with Bonsai

Manage your teams operations smoothly with Bonsai

Start Free Trial

How to use Slack for project communication

Slack is so useful in project management, since it helps control communication and collaboration between those carrying out the project and the project members. Slack can be used throughout the project or the project plan and the project timeline to ensure that everyone, including the project manager, and the project stakeholders are kept updated. This includes project status and deliverables, and more. More than that, this ensures an orderly communication plan to maintain project roles. The many channels that are specially dedicated ensure efficient collaboration in teams and stakeholder support. With Slack, the project communication flow is smooth and effective, making the project management communication plan very easy.

Common challenges in project communication and how to overcome them


Effective communication is the key in ensuring the success of project management. When communication is not effective, it can be because of lack of information, understanding, knowledge, or information. This may be because of the following reasons: inconsistency of project status updates; unclear project roles; and wrong or ineffective communication channels. To avoid it, it is important to develop a communication strategy, underscore and assign project roles, define and elaborate on project status update consistency, and then choose the right channels to disseminate information. Stakeholder support and team collaboration will better the flow of information. The most important of all, the well-structured project management communication plan will ensure that everyone on the team and project stakeholder understands the project timeline, deliverables and plan.

Dealing with communication barriers

Effective communication in project management is a factor the project manager should ensure has been achieved throughout the project. The project manager shall establish clear lines of communication that will ensure every team member and the project stakeholder have a valid right to understand project status updates. This includes developing a well-coordinated project management communication plan; outlines have been crafted to include communication strategy, frequency, platform, and receivers. Encouraging collaboration among team members on a regular basis reduces the barriers in communication and addresses issues about the role and responsibility of each member in a project. It also encourages the sharing of the development related to the deliverables of a project on time in order for the project plan to work in coordination and serve the timeline of the project properly. Strong strategies in communication mean strong support of stakeholders, which finally results in successful projects.

Managing miscommunication and misunderstandings

In project management, miscommunication and misunderstandings among team members can lead to project delays and disputes. To avoid such mishaps, a clear project communication strategy should be established. The project manager should delineate project roles, communicate them to the team, and adopt efficient communication channels.

Key aspects include:

  • Project status updates: to keep all project stakeholders informed about the project progress and any potential issues.
  • Team collaboration: to foster open communication and a sense of unity among the project team.
  • Project management communication plan: to ensure a streamlined communication process, maximizing stakeholder support.

Ensuring effective remote communication

Remote communication is a crucial aspect of effective project management. The project manager must ensure clear communication channels among project team members to foster team collaboration. Regular project status updates help keep all involved fully informed.

To maintain a seamless flow of information, a robust project management communication plan should be developed. This ensures that project stakeholders remain updated about project deliverables, project timeline, and any changes in project roles. Therefore, strategic use of communication tools strengthens stakeholder support and aids in successful execution of the project plan.

Get your project management success with Bonsai
Related Articles