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Plan Communications

The following section is no longer applicable for PMBOK v6.

Plan communications consider the performing organization's environment (i.e. Enterprise Environmental Factors), including its culture and expectations. The performing organizations processes, procedures, historical records, lessons learned and other information (i.e. organizational process assets) should also be taken into consideration. The output is the Communications Management Plan which is a component of the Project Management Plan. During project initiation, the efforts would begin to identify stakeholders and their communication requirements. In planning, it is determined how to apply that information.

The information and communication needs of the stakeholders are taken into consideration in the Plan Communication process. A clear and concise communication requires handling communications in a structured way and choose the best type of communication for the situation.

Formal written: It is used when there are complex problems, for project management plan, for project charter, memos, communicating over long distances

Formal verbal: Used during presentation and speeches Informal written. Used for Emails, handwritten notes, text messages, instant messaging

Informal verbal: Used in meetings, conversions

Communication Models

Project management requires a more structured approach to communications. Communication models are comprised of three parts: the sender, the message and the receiver. Each message is encoded by the sender, gets transmitted to the receiver and is decoded by him. There are certain noise factors in communication models such as receivers education, language, cultural effect of the way the message is decoded by the receiver.

Effective Communication

For effective communication, the sender should decode the message carefully, identify the communication method to be used to send the message and confirm if the message is understood. The sender can be aware of the following communication factors:

Nonverbal: Most of what is communicated is non-verbal. It is based on physical mannerism. About 55% of all communication is non-verbal

Paralingual: Pitch and tone of voice help to convey a message.

Effective listening: The receiver should decode the message carefully and confirm that the message is understood. This includes watching the speaker to pick up physical gestures and facial expressions, thinking about what to say before responding, and active listening, in which the receiver confirms that he/she is listening, expresses agreement or disagreement, or ask for a clarification.

Communication Technology

Planning communications involve determining how to communicate each item. Communication can take place through face-to-face interactions, by telephone, fax, mail, or email; through virtual or in-person meetings; and through an intranet or internet-based forums for information. These different means of communications is termed Communication Technology.