PMP Certification: Project Communications Management 101

Note if you are taking the PMP® exam from 26 March 2018 onwards: click here to read the updated PMP® study material based on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.

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Project Communications Management is the seventh knowledge area of project management.

It creates a communications management plan, gathers and disseminates project information according to the communications management plan, and verifies that the communications activities are completed in line with the plan.

Based on chapter 10 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, here you will find:

  • project management graphic of Project Communications Management, a quick reference guide to its definition and processes
  • Project Communications Management WHATs, WHYs, WHENs, and HOWs — by Project Communications Management processes

Read on!

Project Communication Management 101

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Communications Management

  • WHAT Plan Communications Management Is. The Plan Communications Management process develops a plan that ensures the individual stakeholders have the information they need, at the right time, with the right method, and in the right format.
  • WHY Plan Communications Management Is Important. Lack of communication and poor communication are significant factors for the success or failure of a project. This is why project managers need to define how they will manage and control that everybody gets the right message at the right time.
  • WHEN Plan Communications Management Is Executed. Project managers execute the Plan Communications Management process early in the project, after they have completed the Identify Stakeholders process, on which it depends.
  • HOW Plan Communications Management Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
  2. Stakeholder register
  3. Enterprise environmental factors
  1. Communication requirements analysis
  2. Communication technology
  3. Communication models
  4. Communication methods
  5. Meetings
  1. Communications management plan
  2. Project documents updates

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 10, section 10.1, p. 289.

2. Manage Communications

  • WHAT Manage Communications Is. The Manage Communications process executes the tasks defined in the communications management plan to gather the project information, distribute it to the stakeholders in a timely manner, and, finally, store it. Moreover, a project manager uses the Manage Communications process to answer the stakeholders’ requests for additional information or clarification of information.
  • WHY Manage Communications Is Important. Most of the communications critical for a smooth and successful running of any project take place in the Manage Communications process.
  • WHEN Manage Communications Is Executed. Project manager and stakeholders communicate throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  • HOW Manage Communications Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Communications management plan
  2. Work performance reports
  3. Enterprise environmental factors
  4. Organizational process assets
  1. Communication technology
  2. Communication models
  3. Communication methods
  4. Information management systems
  5. Performance reporting
  1. Project communications
  2. Project management plan updates
  3. Project documents updates
  4. Organizational process assets updates

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 10, section 10.2, p. 297.

3. Control Communications

  • WHAT Control Communications Is. The Control Communications process ensures that the communications management plan is effective, by comparing that with the outcome of the Manage Communication process and, eventually, making the required adjustments.
  • WHY Control Communications Is Important. Since shortcomings in Communications Management Plan or Project Communications may develop and the communications needs of stakeholders may change during a project life cycle, getting the plan right and then executing it well prevents the communication issues responsible for project problems and failures.
  • WHEN Control Communications Is Executed. A project manager starts performing the Control Communications process as soon as the communications management plan is executed and carries on on a day-to-day basis as long as the project communications take place, throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  • HOW Control Communications Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
  2. Project communications
  3. Issue log
  4. Work performance data
  5. Organizational process assets
  1. Information management systems
  2. Expert judgment
  3. Meetings
  1. Work performance information
  2. Change requests
  3. Project management plan updates
  4. Project documents updates
  5. Organizational process assets updates

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 10, section 10.3, p. 303.

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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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