5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 10: Communication Technology

1.  Introduction

As communication technology develops, more options become available to the project manager to spread information about the status of the project to the stakeholders that need it.   The purpose of this post is to discuss the factors one must consider when choosing communication technology for a project.

2.   Factors in Choosing Communication Technology

a.   Urgency of the need for information

Status reports are more routine; when a decision has to be made on a crucial change request, however, the stakeholders who are involved in that decision need to be given the information as soon as possible so that they can provide input into that decision.

b.  Availability of technology

The communication technology needs to be compatible throughout the organization so that all stakeholders have access to it.

c.  Ease of Use

Just because the stakeholders have access to the communication technology, does not mean that they have the technical knowledge to be able to use it.   Training must be considered for those who need to get up to speed–BEFORE that communication technology is needed.

d.  Project Environment

Are the stakeholders who need the information in the same building, or are they communicating virtually?    If they are communicating virtually, are they in the same time zone or does accomodation need to be made for those in different time zones?

e.  Sensitivity and confidentiality of the information

The communication needs to go to the stakeholders, but ONLY to the stakeholders.   Are there measures in place to prevent the accidental or even willful leaking of information outside the circle of stakeholders that need to be told?   Will encryption be needed, for example, if communicating with stakeholders outside the organization?   These are some of the questions that need to be considered.

This is why a communications plan includes discussion of the communication technology, because the factors mentioned above need to be considered so that the communication is both timely and targeted to the right people.

The next tool & technique of process 10.1 Plan Communication Management is that of Communication Models.   This is more abstract, theoretical framework within which to considered the communications on a project.   That will be the subject of the next post.


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