5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 10: Process 10.2 Manage Communications

1.  Introduction

The second out of three communications-related processes is a process in the Executing Process Group, and it is used to, as its title suggests, to manage communications during the course of the project.  This post describes the inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs that belong to this process.

2.  Inputs

Inputs include the communications management plan, which is an output of the last process 10.1 Plan Communications Management.  This will be updated during the process.  EEFs and OPAs, the company culture and the company’s previous experience with similar projects, respectively, are also considered inputs to the process.  Perhaps the most important input is that of work performance reports, the output of process 4.4 Manage and Control Project Work.  This is the information which will be communicated by the process.

10.2 Manage Communications
1. Communications Management Plan This gives guidelines for how communications will be managed.  It is the output of process 10.1 Plan Communications Management
2. Work performance reports Information on the status and performance of the project.
3. EEFs
  • Organizational culture
  • Government and industry standards
  • Project management information system
4. OPAs
  • Policies and guidelines
  • Templates
  • Historical information, lessons learned
1. Communication Technology Choice should be appropriate for information being communicated.  This is also a tool & technique of process 10.1 Plan Communications Management.
2. Communication Models This tool ensures that communications are both efficient and effective.  This is also a tool & technique of process 10.1 Plan Communications Management.
3. Communication Methods This tool ensures the communications have been received and understood, which enables proper response and feedback.  This is also a tool & technique of process 10.1 Plan Communications Management.
4. Information management systems These systems manage the following types of information:

  • Hard-copy documents
  • Electronic communications
  • Electronic project management tools
5. Performance reporting This takes the work performance on the project, including the past (progress reports), present (status), and future (forecasts).
1. Project communications These can include the following:

  • Performance reports
  • Status of deliverables (scope)
  • Schedule progress (time)
  • Costs incurred (cost)
2. Project management plan updates Provides information on the following:

  • Project baselines
  • Communications management
  • Stakeholder management
3. Project documents updates
  • Issue logs
  • Project schedule
  • Project funding requirements
4. OPAs updates Various OPAs can be updated in the course of managing communications.

3.  Tools & Techniques

The information on the project performance is what will be communicated.  How that information will be communicated is determined by an analysis of the methods and technology available to the project manager.  Communication models create a theoretical framework within which all of these other tools & techniques can be made to serve the needs of the project, and to make sure communications are effective and efficient, meaning that only the necessary communication goes to the required stakeholders and only to those stakeholders.  Information management systems, including the project management information system (such as Microsoft Project), are an essential tool in managing communications.

4.  Outputs

The outputs of Plan Communications Management are the communications themselves, the information on the project performance.  Some elements of the Project Management Plan, such as the project baselines, the Communications and Stakeholders Management Plans, may receive updates, as well as many of the project documents and OPAs.

The next post will deal in general with the tools & techniques of Managing Communications.

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