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

One of the tools & techniques of the process 10.1 Plan Communication Management is understanding communication methods you might use on a project.  The purpose of this post is to describe these three methods and give examples of the kinds of communication represented by each method.


  Type Explanation Examples
1. Interactive Between two or more parties; multidirectional exchange of information. Meetings, phone calls, instant messaging, video conferencing
2. Push Sending information from a central source to several recipients. Letters, memos, reports, faxes, voice mails, blogs, press releases
3. Pull Requires recipients to access information; used for very large volumes of information. Intranet sites, e-learning, lessons learned databases, knowledge repositories


The interactive method is what we usually think of as communication that is “live”:  it is “many-to-many” communication.  The push method is for “canned” communication that is sent from one person to several recipients:  it is “one-to-many” communication.  The pull method is for canned information that is not sent to several recipients; rather the recipients come and collect the information from the central source.  This is more for training and databases that might be helpful for a project.

For status reporting purposes, the push method is the best.  For general information, the pull method is the best.  For discussion, in particular regarding a decision that must be made, the interactive method is the best.

Why is this a tool & technique of the Plan Communication Management process?  Because the Communication Management Plan should specify which of the methods, and which of the communication forms listed under “examples” should be used.

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