At first glance, you might assume that everyone on your team is familiar with the communication tools at their disposal and that a communication plan isn’t necessary if they know their individual roles and responsibilities. However, a communication plan is essential to a successful project for the following reasons:
Critical Information Is Delivered
Without a comprehensive project communication plan in place, team members may not always deliver critical information needed by the rest of their team, their project manager, or the project stakeholders, which can slow down the project.
A communication plan will outline what kind of information is deemed critical to both stakeholders and team members. It is important to establish milestones and objectives that your team must meet which will need to be reported on. Also important is identifying the different types of problems or challenges that team members may run into that will need to be reported to managers or stakeholders.
Employees are often hesitant to report issues, either because they fear the consequences of their mistakes or because they’re not sure that the issues they are experiencing are big enough to report. Encourage them to report any problems they experience and explain how to differentiate an issue that doesn’t need to be reported from one that does.
The project communication plan should also define how that critical information needs to be delivered. Sometimes the issue may be that the information is being delivered to the necessary individual, but that they aren’t receiving it because it’s not a method of communication that they are using frequently. For example, sending a stakeholder critical information via a messaging application that they don’t check very often.
Keeps A Good Relationship With Clients And Stakeholders
Keep stakeholders and clients informed about the project’s progress because you want their continued trust and support. If you don’t keep them up-to-date, they may feel like they’re not important to the project’s completion and that you don’t care about their opinions or input. By keeping them in the loop, they’ll also have a more clear understanding of the benefits of the project. Without that understanding, they may want to pull the plug the moment the project faces any unforeseen challenges.
With a project communication plan, all involved parties won’t just know what their individual communication roles and responsibilities are, but they’ll know what everyone else’s is as well. This shared understanding amongst team members, managers, stakeholders, and clients helps ensure that everyone remains in step with the project’s status. It will also help to significantly reduce (or even eliminate) instances of miscommunication.
Everyone Understands The Metrics of Success
A project communication plan should enable your team to be fully aligned with its goals and objectives and everyone should understand the metrics of success. Without such alignment, team members may end up working towards different objectives without realizing it, which can cause miscommunication and friction among team members, making it more difficult for your team to collaborate successfully.
Team Members Are Motivated
When a team member has no idea what’s going on around them and hasn’t been informed as to what it is they need to communicate, who they need to communicate to, or when they need to deliver certain messages, it can feel like they’re stumbling around in the dark. This can hurt their motivation and productivity.
With a clear communication plan, they will be more confident in their role on the team as well as in their team itself, which can help to drive their motivation. With a clear communication plan, everyone can easily identify achievements and milestones that are met by individual team members, which will result in more individual praise and recognition when it’s warranted. This can provide a real boost of confidence, making your team more motivated to do high-quality work and to meet their deadlines.
Potential Bottlenecks Are Identified
Bottlenecks within your processes can hinder your team’s ability to complete work or move on to the next stages of your project. Without clear lines of communication or instructions on how to report certain issues and who they should be reported to, these bottlenecks may take much longer to be identified and solved, resulting in an inefficient process that could delay the project’s schedule.