The PRINCE2® Communication Management Strategy

The PRINCE2 Communication Management Strategy contains a description of the means and frequency of communication to parties both internal and external to the project. This strategy facilitates engagement with stakeholders through the establishment of a controlled and bi-directional flow of information. The Communication Management Strategy is typically derived from any corporate communications policies (e.g. rules for disclosure for publicly listed companies) and from any program-level information management strategies, if they exist.  It is also impacted by other components of the Project Initiation Documentation, in particular the project management team structure, the Risk Management Strategy, the Quality Management Strategy and the Configuration Management Strategy.  Some of its contents are also built using facilitated workshops and informal discussions with stakeholders as well as the results of project stakeholder analysis.

The Communication Management Strategy can take a number of formats including a stand-alone product or a section of the Project Initiation Document (PID).  It can be a document, spreadsheet or mind map as well as an entry in a project management tool. The PRINCE2 recommended contents of the Communication Management Strategy for a project include:

  • Introduction:  State the purpose, objectives and scope, and identifies who is responsible for the strategy
  • Communication Procedure:  A description of (or reference to) any communication methods to be used, with any variance from the corporate or program management standards highlighted, together with a justification for the variance.
  • Tools and Techniques:  Contains any communication tools to be used, and any preference for techniques that may be used, for each step in the communication process.
  • Records:  Defines what communication records will be required and where they will be stored (for example, logging of external correspondence)
  • Reporting:  Describes any reports on the communication process that are to be produced, including their purpose, timing and recipients (for example, performance indicators)
  • Timing of Communication Activities:  States when formal communication activities are to be undertaken (for example, at the end of a stage) including performance audits for the communication methods
  • Roles and Responsibilities:  Describes who will be responsible for what aspects of the communication process,  including any corporate  or program management roles involved with communication
  • Stakeholder Analysis:  Identification of the interested party (which may include accounts staff, user forum, internal audit, corporate or program quality assurance, competitors etc.)  This should address current and desired relationships, interfaces, and key messages.
  • Information Needs for each interested party: Defines the information required to be provided from the project as well as any information required to be provided to the project, including information providers/recipients, frequency of communication, means of communication and format of the communication

When the Communication Management Strategy is complete, check it against the quality criteria to ensure it is complete and correct. The criteria include:

  • All stakeholders have been identified and consulted for their communication requirements
  • There is agreement from all stakeholders about the content, frequency and method of communication
  • A common standard for communication has been considered
  • The time, effort and resources required to carry out the identified communications have been allowed for in Stage Plans
  • The formality and frequency of communication is reasonable for the projects importance and complexity

Also remember that for projects that are part of a program, the lines of communication, and the reporting structure between the project and program should have been made clear in the Communication Management Strategy.  This document incorporates corporate communications facilities where appropriate (e.g. using the marketing communications department for distributing project bulletins).

Susan Weese

Remember, a copy of the PRINCE2 method is required reference material in any project manager’s bookshelf!  The method is documented in the OGC publication Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2” which is officially published by TSO.  Serious project managers seeking to enhance their knowledge, skills and professional credibility target should consider PRINCE2 certification.  Learning Tree offers two excellent certification courses for folks interested in becoming a Certified Practitioner of PRINCE2 or simply starting with the Foundation Certification.

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