5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 10: Process 10.3 Control Communications

1.  Introduction

The third out of three communications-related processes is a process in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group, and it is used to, as its title suggests, to control the communications during the course of the project to make sure that the project stakeholders get the information they need.  This post describes the inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs that belong to this process.

2.  Inputs

Inputs include the communications management plan, and the stakeholder management plan, basically to find out which stakeholder needs access to information when merely reporting status, as opposed to when decisions are made, or when expert opinions are needed.

The issue log monitors ongoing issues on the project, which may be resolved through the course of the process.  Work performance data on the project will be generated by the process into work performance information, a simple definition of which is data which has been put into a format that is both easily usable and relevant to the stakeholders to whom it will be sent.

10.3  Control Communications
1. Project Management Plan This includes stakeholder communication requirements, which answer the questions of  who, what, when, where and why with regards to communications.
2. Project Communications These are communications regarding the status of the project, including the triple constraints of scope, time and cost:

  • Status of deliverables
  • Progress according to schedule
  • Costs incurred
2. Issue log This documents and monitors ongoing issues on the project.  It is an output of process 13.3.
3. Work performance data Compares the performance on the project to the performance baseline.
4. OPAs
  • Policies and guidelines
  • Templates
  • Historical information, lessons learned
1. Information management systems Software packages (e.g., Microsoft Project) for storing and distributing information on the project.
2. Expert judgment This is used for assessing the impact of project communications, and for taking actions based on the contents of those communications.
3. Meetings This means face-to-face communications with the relevant stakeholders.
1. Work performance information Summary of work performance data, giving the progress on the project.
2. Change requests The process may result in requests for changes on the project which are then sent to the process Perform Integrated Change Control.
3. Project Management Plan updates The process may result in changes to the Communications Management Plan, and possibly even the Stakeholders and Human Resources Management Plan.
4. Product documents updates
  • Forecasts
  • Performance reports
  • Issue logs
5. OPAs updates
  • Reporting formats
  • Lessons learned

3.  Tools & Techniques

The software part of the tools used on the project are the Information Management Systems.  These include the project management software as well as e-mail systems and other ways in which information is communicated.

Expert judgment and meetings may be needed to either decide on whether the format of communication needs to be changed, or it may be needed to decide on the impact of that communication, even to the point of suggesting changes to the project itself.

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 kinds of changes that may be comprised in the change requests under this process of Managing Communications.

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