Communications Requirements Analysis

October 2, 2009


The most important part of the communications plan is who needs what information and at what time. It is essential to remember that nobody, none of the stakeholders should be burdened with any more information than they absolutely need. No body has time for non-essential tasks or to process non-essential information. The needs for specific information that must go to each stakeholder would have been identified when stakeholder analysis was undertaken. The communication plan is a plan to deliver these precise bits of information to the identified stakeholders and according to the class they have been classified into. Information needs to be delivered with the most efficient method and at an appropriate time. Who delivers this information also should be clearly defined.

The Communication Plan

The purpose of the communication plan is to maximize the impact of the communications effort for the most benefit of the project. Good communications ensure that stakeholders are kept happy and they are positively disposed to exert their authority and impact to influence a positive outcome to your project. Not communicating properly as per a plan, can lead to delay in message delivery, sensitive information ending up to wrong people and lack of appropriate communications to stakeholders that are important to the project.

Best time to finalize this plan is to complete a plan as early as possible. By the time the project management plan is finished, final finishing touches need to be applied to the communication plan too. That should ensure that you remember to allocate the time and funds budget to this vital activity. Review the plans and update as often as necessary to keep it absolutely up to date. The communication plan must be reviewed, at a minimum, at the times project management plan is reviewed.

Requirements Analysis is a Complex Process

The requirements are determined by the format and content of the information. Besides you would need to analyze the value of the information too. That value assessment should determine which information should get budget allocation (time and money). The ones that are good for the project and lack of communicating the items that can cause harm to the project are the ones to be considered. To determine the complexity of the communications exercise the project manager needs to consider the complexity factor. Considering communication channels n stakeholders will have (n x (n-1))/2 potential communication channels. For example 10 stakeholders will have 45 different communication channels between them. Therefore, the plan must define the exact channels to prevent confusion or information clutter.

The information that you need to look at, as a minimum, to finalize a communication plan must include the organization chart, project organization that includes disciplines, departments and specialties of the organization that are involved, , stakeholder responsibility relationship. Specific information about stakeholders by consulting the stakeholder register and the stakeholder management plan must contribute to the requirements plan. Internal as well as external communication needs and logistical issues such a how many people at what branches, locations are going to be involved.

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