Project Management Communication Plan in 6 Steps

An effective project management communication plan is essential. We can prove this point by explaining two simple reasons.

First of all, clear communication is essential for the success of a project. Clear communication includes what channels of communication are used and which team members receive which type of message.

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Secondly, an effective communication plan is not difficult to build and put in place. You just need to define every aspect of communication necessary and align everything with the team members. Let’s explore how to do that.

What is a project management communication plan?

A communication plan is an outline of how will you communicate project information to key stakeholders. Usually, this plan is the responsibility of the project manager.

A good communication plan is fundamental for the project’s team to understand who does what, which people need to be kept in the loop (the stakeholders for example), and/or notified of changes, or any details worth sharing. This cycle of information and communication needs to be clarified from the beginning.

Which channel should stakeholders use when, how frequently should communication be put in place, and who is responsible for each communication channel? This plan and its strategies should be swiftly shared with everyone on the team.

This way they’ll know what to do, when, and who to brief on it. The communication plan should be centralized into a few tools.

A complicated situation may arise if one team member tries to ask questions in a tool that another team member doesn’t check.

Don’t risk team members being frustrated and disconnected from work. A simple miscommunication can turn into a major problem, completely avoidable from the start.

Read also: How to track project progress

Why is a project management communication plan essential?

The complexity of a project demands a written communication plan. It’s the best way to communicate the right information to the right people.

The stakeholders don’t need to be aware of every daily detail regarding the project. In the same way, a team member doesn’t need to be aware of conversations with external partners or the stakeholders themselves.

Here are a few major benefits of creating a project management communication plan.

Read also: How to estimate time for a project

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Better collaboration among the team and with the leadership

Making a team of people work together doesn’t come easy. It needs more strategy than simply assigning tasks and hoping everything works out for the best.

Effective team communication is created by following the guidelines set in a communication plan. These guidelines or rules will help break barriers between people, and clarify where they should be communicating and even when.

A good plan will facilitate things and boost everyone’s confidence. 

Duplicate work is avoided and time is saved

As you may know, a lot of time is spent searching for documents, making use of different technologies and communication channels, and obtaining approvals and follow-ups on the status of the work.

A lot of these tasks can be streamlined by having a communication plan in place. Spending more time than needed with the logistics of work, is working double or triple and not focusing on the important things.

Once again, by sharing a communication plan, you can give your team clarity into exactly where things are, how they need to be used and communicated, and where.

Increases productivity by promoting the effectiveness

Following up on the two bullet points explained above, the team members will be more effective in their jobs, by knowing clearly and exactly how to communicate and inform others.

Imagine how many calls and meetings can be avoided if documents are easily found and processes established. Time saved to perform the actual project tasks.

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Clarifies channels and ways of communication

Workers spend hours trying to figure out where they should communicate with each other, the leadership, and stakeholders. Effective communication eliminates this guessing game.

Whether the project manager chooses to use one of the best project management software or separate tools for different purposes, key information can be found in one place. This avoids digging through drives, e-mail threads, and messaging tools.

Read our guide to get other tips to improve team communication.

How to create a project management communication plan in 6 steps

Time to start creating a project management communication plan, a task simplified by following some steps.

As in many other parts of the process, it’s important to remember that not all projects are created equal, and because of that, a project communication plan is going to be unique to each project.

1. Decide the format and the platform where the plan will be available

Choose a platform or document where it’ll be easy for your team to provide information and feedback. This choice will store the communication plan and strategy for the whole team and serve as a reference to stakeholders.

There are a lot of options, from a spreadsheet to a more visual template, to an option provided by project management software.

Did you know that feedback is critical for a team to succeed? Find out why in our guide about leading a team.

2. Set communication goals

Set your project goals in writing. Whatever you hope to achieve, in communication terms. These goals should relate to project communication in some way, of course, but are high-level goals.

These are high-level goals rather than direct actions. For example, communicating daily and weekly project progress to the appropriate members of the project team; setting daily 15-minute calls to boost morale, etc.

Learn why setting goals is important for your project.

3. Set the timeline, roles, channels used, and frequency details

Now it’s time to establish the categories and details of the plan. These are the most used categories in a project management communication plan:

  • Stakeholder (who needs to be updated)
  • Deliverable (what kind of update)
  • Frequency of communication (how often they’re updated)
  • The owner (who is responsible for the update)
  • Priority/timeliness (importance of this update)
  • Method (how the update is conveyed – platform, system, or format)

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This is why is important to define what platforms will be used right from the start.

Sometimes one platform includes video and messaging, but other times you’ll need two different ones. Another time, e-mail might be the preferred method instead of messaging. This may depend on stakeholder or audience preferences.

As the project manager, you can decide that a messaging platform may only be used internally but that stakeholders only receive e-mails. Or tasks must always be registered in a time tracking tool, like Timeular, for later invoicing.

Are meetings with stakeholders weekly or bi-weekly? This is the moment to organize all the details. Check our template proposal below.

Get to know the best team communication tools you can use to put your communication plan into action.

4. Identify the stakeholders

Usually, projects have many stakeholders, most with different levels of interest in and influence. Some of them belong to the organization, others don’t.

You’ll need to identify the stakeholders with whom you’ll communicate throughout the project and prioritize them.

5. Determine the point of contact

Who’ll provide the communication updates? Usually, this task will fall on the project manager. If this doesn’t happen, the owner of a specific update needs to be identified in the communication plan.

6. Share the plan with the whole team

When the communication plan is finished, it’s time to share it with the team.

Remember that communicating about the communication plan is just as important as creating it. Talk to your team about what is expected of them in terms of communication.

Everybody should be on the same page regarding the importance of this document and its benefits, as well as the consequences if it’s not followed.

Read also: Project management reports you need

Project management communication plan template

Date: xx/xx/2023

Project: XYZ

Goal: ABC

Budget revision callHighE-mailWeeklyPeter R.
TeamTo be sent out on the #team channel.MediumSlackDaily
NewsletterTeamLowE-mailSarah F.

How to use a project management communication plan

Your communication strategy will help your team put every information received or requested to good use.

Your communication plan should be distributed to everyone on your team and all the stakeholders involved. This is the first step in using a project management communication plan. They should be leaning onto this plan heavily, thus making it important to go through the communication plan thoroughly.

The stakeholders will know where to go to get the information they need to know, and the team members won’t feel frustrated by not knowing whom and when will their communications be addressed.

It’s also very encouraging to receive regular communication with updates. It drives the momentum of the project and keeps them on their toes regarding the deadline.

However, it’s also important to note that getting stuck in an obsessive communication cycle might work against you. If you communicate too much or too often, you will get ignored.

Be precise and objective in your emails and messages. Remember that no organization is immune to hardships and obstacles that can alter the course of the project. If a change becomes necessary, refer back to your project overview and realign your communication plan.

Things to avoid when building a project management communication plan

Take note of a few communication bad habits that can be avoided. 

  • Not communicating enough about the communication plan and possible changes to the project that may happen;
  • Not tailoring communication to the stakeholders, will most likely ignore most e-mails. Be smart about this communication strategy to this specific group;
  • Not having face-to-face communication. Having in-person meetings and get-togethers will improve the way things are done in future projects;
  • Not planning meetings, feedback sessions, and frequent calls, thus contributing to them being a waste of everyone’s time. Prepare every document in advance and arrange the meeting agenda previously.


For the success of the project and a smooth work process, clear communication is key. A good communication flow is a guarantee that the right information will reach the right people when it’s supposed to.

The major goal is to spend less time talking about tasks and more time performing them.

A well-thought-out communication plan both helps and protects the team and the project manager. During the project’s life cycle, keep your parameters and goals in mind. This is what will help you identify what types of communication will be most beneficial to the project.

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