How to Write a Good Project Management Communication Plan: Template & Examples
Download our free communication plan template, and instantly create a communication plan for your project.
Successful projects run on effective communication. That’s why a communication plan is so important.
Let’s take a closer look at what a project communication plan is and how and why you should develop one for your projects.
What is a project communication plan?
A project communication plan is a simple tool that enables you to communicate effectively on a project with your client, team, and other stakeholders. It sets clear guidelines for how information will be shared, as well as who’s responsible for and needs to be looped in on each project communication.
Why a communications plan is important in project management
As the project manager, you’ve already mapped out every task and deliverable to get you across the finish line. Why not do the same for project communications? After all, your project plan needs a steady stream of communication to stay on track.
A communication plan plays an important role in every project by:
- Creating written documentation everyone can turn to
- Setting clear expectations for how and when updates will be shared
- Increasing visibility of the project and status
- Providing opportunities for feedback to be shared
- Boosting the productivity of team meetings
- Ensuring the project continues to align with goals
Project team communication methods
There’s no single right way to communicate on a project. In fact, your communication plan can and should include a variety of communication methods. Here are a few to consider:
- Meetings (in-person, phone, or video chat)
- Discussion boards
- Status reports
- Collaboration apps
- To-do lists
So how do you know what’s right for the project? Review past projects to see what worked well—and what didn’t. Then talk to your team, client, and other stakeholders to ensure you take their communication styles into account. After all, a weekly email’s no good if no one reads it!
How to create an effective communication plan for a project
Ready to develop a communications plan for your next project? Writing an effective project management communication plan is as simple as following these 5 steps.
Step 1: List your project’s communication needs
Every project is different, so start by determining the size of the project, the nature of work being done, and even the client’s unique preferences.
Then, make a list of which types of communication this project needs to succeed.
Step 2: Define the purpose of your communications
Bombarding people with too many emails or unnecessary meetings can interfere with their ability to get work done and cause them to overlook important updates. Be purposeful in your plan, and ensure every communication you include has a reason for being.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, go ahead and outline a basic agenda for the topics that will be covered in each meeting or report.
Step 3: Choose a communication method
Do you really need a meeting to share weekly updates, or is your project discussion board enough? Think through how your team works best, so they can stay in the loop while still being productive.
If your client prefers the personal touch of a phone call, build that into your plan too.
Step 4: Set a cadence for your project communication
Establish a regular frequency for communication to streamline your process and set clear expectations from the get-go.
This not only frees you from fielding random requests for status updates. It also enables project members to carve out space for important meetings and reports ahead of time.
Step 5: Identify the owner and stakeholders related to each communication
As the project manager, you’ll be responsible for most communications, but there may be some you want to delegate to others. Assign ownership to create accountability so your carefully crafted plan can reach its full potential.
While you’re naming names, list the audience or stakeholders for each communication type too. That way key players come prepared to provide updates when needed.
Project communication plan examples and template
You know your team and stakeholders best, so how you organize the details is up to you. Just be sure it’s easy to understand. These examples show you 3 different options for structuring the same communication plan.
Simple matrix communications plan example
This example outlines different project communications and features basic elements every good communication plan should include.
Communication plan example by method
In this sample communication plan, we've grouped project communications by delivery method to make communication planning easier.
Project communication plan example by audience
This project management communication plan example clearly defines who should receive which communication so no one misses an important update.
Want to use this communication plan format for your upcoming projects? Download our free communication plan template here.
How to incorporate a project communication plan in TeamGantt
With TeamGantt, it’s easy to put your communication plan into everyday practice. Here are just a few ways you can streamline and manage project communication using TeamGantt:
- Upload your communication plan, along with the scope document, to the project’s Files tab.
- Add major meetings or presentations as milestones to your gantt chart.
- Collaborate with team members on project tasks and share files using the comments feature.
- Check in on tasks with team members using the Request a progress update feature.
- Share a PDF or view-only URL of your project so clients and stakeholders can stay up-to-date without getting bogged down by nitty-gritty project details.
Ready to see just how quick and easy project management can be? Give TeamGantt a free try today!