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Constructing a program communication plan with your key stakeholders keeps everyone engaged with the future success. Employee engagement and satisfaction surveys consistently report poor communications as a leading cause of employee disenchantment. An all too common example of communications neglect occurs when human resources or training personnel invite employees to a training program without a prior discussion about why their attendance is required.
Our PRACTICE Approach™ to creating high impact training programs shines a spotlight on a number of communications that need to be disseminated throughout the life of your program. As the program coordinator, organize communications so that all program information is disseminated from a central point. To construct your plan, think about the various stakeholders and their communication requirements. Ask each stakeholder or stakeholder representative what information they need during each phase of your program. The transmission mode you use will also depend upon what a particular stakeholder needs to do with the information. Some stakeholders may require different information at different times or in different phases of the program. For example, if you are sending out status reports or schedules, create a proforma document using your word processor or spreadsheet software or email client that you can reuse by simply putting in the new data. Our comprehensive guide, From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance, includes a customizable Program Communication Plan template with guidance notes.
If yours is a large program, you will need to create your communication plan at a relatively high-level.
A successful program depends on the support and actions from a number of key stakeholder groups.
Keep your Program Communication Plan up to date by getting your project team members involved in a regular review. Getting stakeholders on board is even more important for your wider change or improvement initiative.
Our template pack will get you up and running with your training project as quickly as possible. This Communication Plan template provides a framework for increasing, enhancing and improving communications among project stakeholders. This 30 page template pack also includes a Communication Matrix, Communication Schedule, Communication Plan Checklist, Feedback Form, Meeting Schedule and Responsibility Matrix. People who need to be involved may span departments, buildings, provinces or even countries. In these cases, neither the employee's manager nor the trainer nor anyone else engages the employee in a dialogue about the upcoming program.
If you are to avoid harmful communication gaps, your first step is to construct a communication plan.
Is the information for interest only, or is it to be used as the basis for discussion or decision? Some stakeholders may require information at the beginning or at the end of a project phase.


Once you have collected all of the information you require for your Program Communication Plan, organize the information in your plan into a table. Leave out the details while concentrating on the communications that will emanate from the program coordinator or the program office.
Check out Leslie Allan's practical resource kit packed with ideas, tools and templates for implementing high impact training. For help with every phase of your change program, check out our practical toolkit and guide.
If you ask project managers to tell you how they spend their time, most will state that they spend anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of their time on project communication.
If your training program is a key component of an organizational change or improvement initiative, getting the communications right will save you a lot of heartache further down the track. The plan that you construct during the early stages of your program design will help you structure your thinking, ensuring that you do not leave out any important communications.
Satisfying all wants may make you a lot of friends; however, this could also stretch your budget to breaking point. If it is the latter, one-way modes of communication, such as email, SMS and intranet, are poorly suited. This is not the place to list every internal project communication between project team members. For detailed communication requirements, either construct separate in depth communication plans for each phase of the program or for each department involved in the project.
Don't fall into the trap of writing up the plan and then letting it sit in your bottom drawer.
Download the free Introductory Chapter and start using Leslie's comprehensive training guide and toolkit today. You may have noticed in this book, we continually end a planning section with the need to communicate this information to team members or other stakeholders. Specify the writers, audience, topics, delivery dates, delivery mechanism, sensitive issues, resources and expected results.
Planning for the what, where, who, when and why of your communications up front will achieve two key objectives. Going over budget or failing to deliver on promises will, in the end, lose you valuable support for next time. To save time and effort, try to standardize on a format for a particular kind of communication.
Pin it up on your project board, include it as an agenda item at key project team meetings and set up automated task list reminders for each scheduled communication event. A need for good communication starts from the day the project charter is issued and you are formally named project manager (perhaps even earlier if you have been filling the project manager role informally).
Give your program the best chances of success by putting your communication plan into action. The project charter is the first of many project documents that needs to be reviewed with your stakeholders. The transmission modes available to you will depend on the facilities available in your organization.


Unfortunately, even though project managers usually recognize how much time they spend communicating, this does not always translate into taking the time to develop a good communications plan. She thought she was doing an excellent job of communicating with the team, but the team was going crazy. It got to the point where most of the team members were so overwhelmed we stopped reading everything. Because people communicate all the time, they give little thought to organizing or planning communication. The importance of planning your communications before you speak or write is even more critical if your message is sensitive or controversial . Life is much easier if you send the right message to begin with, rather than apologizing or retracting at a later time. Although the template from this example can be used to create an overall communications plan for all stakeholder groups, there are some additional considerations when it comes to communicating with your project team. It is your responsibility to make sure all the team members understand the project goals and objectives and how their contribution fits into the big picture. If you are scheduling a kickoff meeting or other team building session, ask for suggestions on agenda items or areas for team discussion. Team members may have suggestions for the structure and frequency of the team meetings or format for status reporting, based on their previous project experience. The project manager may not be able to accommodate all suggestions, but taking the time to consider input and reviewing the final format will go a long way toward building a cohesive team. For these informal one-on-one communications, where possible, work to accommodate what is most comfortable for each team member.
In Chapter 2 we identified some of the typical project stakeholders: project sponsor, functional managers, customers, and end users. Remember that a stakeholder is anyone who will be positively or negatively affected by the outcome of a project. This commonly occurs with large systems applications or new products that are deployed across geographic regions such as multistate customer operations areas or multicampus sites. If the customer operations director does not understand how his team is involved or what will be the total impact on his group, you need to get him connected to what s going on.
So, if you can only get 5 minutes of time with an uninvolved stakeholder, it s vital that you spend your time wisely. This approach has two key benefits: You have carefully thought out what you need to say if your time is limited. If your project requires communication to executive team members, the sponsor can help develop the communications plan by identifying what information the group needs, and how and when communication will take place. In addition to the communications distribution structure, your communications plan may include information on how you will gather and store information, how to obtain information between communications, and how to update the communications plan.



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communication plan template bus 475



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