Communication Management Plan Template [Free Download]


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1          Introduction

The purpose of the Communication Management Plan is to define the communication requirements for the project and how information will be distributed to and feedback received from all stakeholders.  The Communication Management Plan is a working document that defines the following:

  • Stakeholder communication requirements
  • Analysis, design, development and evaluation of communications
  • Identification and best use of communication vehicles
  • Handling recurring and triggered communications
  • Communication standards for the project
  • The Communication approval process
  • Completion and use of the Communication Matrix

This Communication Management Plan sets the communications framework for the [Subject] project.  It serves as a guide for communications throughout the life of the project.  This is a working document and will be updated as communication needs change.  This plan identifies and defines the stakeholders of [Subject] with whom it is critical to communicate.  It also contains the Communication Matrix (Appendix A) which maps specific messages to stakeholders or stakeholder groups.  The items captured on the Communications Matrix are then built into the [Subject] Project Schedule.

To build a complete communication plan, it is highly recommended that the Project Director and/or team member responsible for communications planning (Organization Change Management team lead or other) guide the project team through several steps to ensure that the plan is as robust and effective as possible.  These steps include: 

2          Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of all [Subject] communication is to:

x
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  • [Subject] project
  • [Subject] project between the project team and Agency stakeholder groups

3          Stakeholder Communications Requirements

In the Communication Management Plan, it is important to identify all stakeholders and anticipate their communication needs.  This section combines the stakeholders captured in the Stakeholder Register with the Project Roles & Responsibilities Template and adds each stakeholder’s or stakeholder group’s communication needs.  The result is a Stakeholder Communications Requirements table (sample below).

The communication needs of [Subject] stakeholders have been identified and are presented in the Stakeholder Communications Requirements table below.  The analysis includes all project team member roles and responsibilities, including their communication responsibilities.  In addition, the requirements of the non-project team stakeholders are also captured. 

Sample Stakeholder Communications Requirements

  Role  Description  Communication NeedsCommunication Responsibilities  Name/Group
                                                                                  Project Team Stakeholders
Executive SponsorChampions the project; provides high level visionThorough understanding of Project Charter and Project Management Plan   Up-to-date Project Status Project Risks and Responses Project issues and obstacles   Sponsorship-specific communications tactics/techniques   Communications should be presented in summary format unless the Project Sponsor requests more detailed communicationsProvides guidance and direction for key communication strategies

Communicates business vision   Communicates high-level issue resolution decisions

Approves and/or delivers strategic project communications

Joe Smith Ann Walker Rita Rogue
Business SponsorThe role of the Business Sponsor is to provide guidance and direction for key business strategies.  The Business Sponsor answers the business-driven question, “Why are we doing this?” and ensures that all stakeholders know and understand the answer.Thorough understanding of Project Charter and Project Management Plan   Up-to-date Project Status   Project Risks and Responses   Project issues and obstacles   Sponsorship-specific communications tactics/techniques   Communications should be presented in summary format unless the Project Sponsor requests more detailed communicationsCommunicates the resolution of  business policy issues

Communicates issues needing escalation and business decisions to executive levels   Provides input into issues resolution alternatives before they are brought to executive levels Deliverables   Provides Agency communications resource
Joe Smith Carl Numenth                                
Senior Project DirectorThe Senior Project Director owns and drives the solution delivery process.  He/she mobilizes and uses the project team to complete the project successfully.  This role is responsible and accountable for the overall planning, execution and control of the project, including communication.Business vision from Executive Sponsor   Immediate notice of business decisions, policy changes, etc. that could impact execution of the project   Status from project team leadership   Communication initiatives, artifacts, review and approval processesOversees the implementation of the project on a daily basis, working with the project work stream leads (such as OCM Lead) to ensure consistent communication   Responsible for clear, timely, documented, correct communication with project team and executive leadership   Communicates project progress and directions to the project team and SponsorsSara Project
Non-Project Team Stakeholders
Customer Service RepresentativesCustomer Service Representatives are responsible for efficient and accurately answering questions about the XXX program.  They use the XXX system constantly and are evaluated on their speed of response to customer questions.Project progress updates   Benefits of new system   System implementation dates   Training dates   Access to [Project Name] intranet siteParticipates in CSR focus groups and new system demonstrations.   Provides feedback to project team members.   Reads communications and performs tasks accordingly.Agency CSRs and Supervisors
Claims ProcessorsClaims Processors are responsible for efficient and accurate program claims processing, including verification and validation of submitted information, determining eligibility, and processing payments.  This group is responsible for and evaluated on speed and quality of data, which is entered in XXX system.Project progress updates   Benefits of new system   System implementation dates   Training dates   Access to [Subject] intranet siteParticipates in Claims Processor focus groups and new system demonstrations.   Provides feedback to project team members.   Reads communications and performs tasks accordingly.Agency Claims Processors and Supervisors

Table 1: Sample stakeholder communications requirements

4          Communications Assessment & Analysis

The purpose of this step is to gather data about the effectiveness of the Agency’s existing communications, the existing communication flow, and what infrastructure the Agency has in place to support communication planning and delivery.



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Existing communications are documented in the Communications Matrix (Appendix A).  The project team can then use this analysis to determine whether or not to use existing communication vehicles for project-related communications.  As the project progresses, new communication vehicles related to the project itself will be added to the Communications Matrix and, eventually, to the Project Schedule.

5          Communications Matrix

The Communications Matrix provides structure to identify all types of communications:  Project Team, Stakeholder, Recurring and Triggered.  It is recommended that the matrix begin with Project Team communication items followed by Stakeholder communication items.  As unanticipated or anticipated trigger events occur, the communication response should be added to the matrix. 

The [Subject] Communication Management Plan includes an assessment and analysis of the Agency’s existing communications that impact the project’s stakeholder populations.  The result of this assessment and analysis is recorded in the Communication Matrix (Appendix A), along with a numerical rating of the effectiveness of each communication item based on feedback from Agency personnel.  This rating allows the [Subject] project team to take advantage of existing Agency communication vehicles for project-related communication. 

Once the existing communication deliverables have all been documented and evaluated, analyze the results using the following questions:

The analysis of [Company] communications found that communications are delivered mainly orally and are undocumented.  This causes some confusion in the employee population since word-of-mouth is the least effective means of delivering messages.  Since there is no one person dedicated to ensuring Agency-wide communication effectiveness, most of the information the employee base needs to be successful is left to Agency leadership to “trickle down” through the management/supervisory level.  Often these leaders, managers and supervisors forget to share the information or fail to provide context for the message due to their own workloads. 

To help the Agency’s leaders disseminate information about the project more effectively, the [Subject] Project Director or Organizational Change Management (OCM) team lead will ensure careful documentation of all meetings and be responsible for editing and ensuring consistency in project communication.  They will also provide leader talking points for critical updates to Agency employees regarding project progress.

The analysis of current Agency communications also found that both Agency leader meetings and the Agency’s intranet site were the most effective as delivery vehicles for disseminating messages that invite positive action and behavior.  The [Subject] will take advantage of these methods to disseminate project-related information.

The [Subject] communication needs will also require development of new communication vehicles to ensure that critical project-related messaging reaches the appropriate stakeholder groups.  As the project identifies and creates these vehicles, they will be added to the Communication Matrix (Appendix A).

6          Communications Design

After concluding the assessment and analysis, the data gathered is used to populate the Communication Matrix (Appendix A).  In this step, the Project Director or OCM team lead will identify the project’s communication needs, create Agency ownership for the messaging, and add communication deliverables to the Communication Matrix. 

There are two broad stakeholder groups and two categories of communication in any project:

Thoroughly considering the messages the project needs to deliver over the course of the project life cycle, the stakeholder groups’ needs for information, and ensuring consistency in messages delivered via training and change management initiatives is critical to reducing confusion, non-productive tasks/activities, and resistance to change. 

The Communication Matrix for [Subject] (Appendix A) includes a solid structure for project team communication, as well as a framework for non-project team stakeholder communications.

6.1                 Project Team Communication Design

The Project Director is responsible for the smooth, efficient execution of any project.  Key to his or her ability to ensure timeliness and quality before, during and after a project is effective and planned project communications.  The Project Director sets the guidelines and “rules” for project communications.  These guidelines could include directions for how/when to report status, the process to escalate risks and/or questions for project leadership consideration, meeting rules such as requiring agendas and meeting minutes, the approval process for non-project team stakeholder communications, etc.

It is important for the Project Director to fully understand the communication needs of the project team stakeholders, including the Project Steering Committee (PSC).  The Project Director should also explore every available delivery vehicle to take advantage of the abundance of media currently on the market.  The more variety of message delivery, the better it will be absorbed and remembered.                                                        

The Project Director will take a proactive role in ensuring effective communications for the [Subject]].  The communications of [Subject] team members will include status reporting, “all-hands” team meetings in which the health of the project and requests/requirements of the Project Steering Committee or project leadership are reviewed, and ad hoc communications, via email, meetings, reports and/or conference calls as appropriate.

The Project Director also ensures that the communication infrastructure for the project team is created.  For example he/she will ensure that the Agency establishes an email distribution list of all project team members, appropriate Agency intranet access is provided, and a project team contact list is created. 

6.2                 Non-Project Team Stakeholder Communication Design

In a large, complex IT project, communications, change management initiatives and training are inextricably bound.  Depending on the skills of the resources and the complexity of the project, these functions often work together within one Organizational Change Management team.  Smaller projects may not warrant a full OCM team, in which case the Project Director is responsible for design and development of communications to non-project team stakeholders. 

The OCM team leader, if applicable, works closely with the Project Director to set communication standards, analyze stakeholder communication needs, determine the approach for communicating ad hoc information, identify available delivery vehicles, and determine standard responses to triggered events.  All formal project communications to stakeholders must be approved by the Project Director and the Executive Sponsor.

There are several communication opportunities to reach, educate, and gain buy-in and support from stakeholders of the [Subject]. Since the project team is also a stakeholder group, they are sometimes recipients of the same communications as non-project team stakeholders.  Taking advantage of these opportunities and timing the release of communications appropriately is vital to insuring a successful project.  For [Subject], following are some of the ways that [Subject] will achieve information sharing, action and project acceptance from its stakeholders:

  • [Subject] Branding

6.3                 Recurring Communication Design

The Project Director and OCM team leader, if applicable, should identify recurring communication needs and use branded templates to provide consistency of messaging across all stakeholder groups.  Unfounded rumors can negatively impact many well-conceived projects.  Project leadership must determine the information that they will gather and disseminate on a regular basis.  This information sharing can include weekly status reports, processes for reporting risks, processes for obtaining answers to questions and issues vendor/contract processes, reports, etc.

The recurring communications identified for [Subject] are described below and documented in the Communication Matrix (Appendix A).

  • [Subject] News – stakeholder updates, schedule updates, progress report, frequently asked questions, etc.  Published via Agency and [Subject] intranet sites monthly, then weekly closer to implementation.

6.4                 Triggered Communication Design

Though not all communication needs can be identified at the beginning of a project, there are some “trigger” events that can be anticipated.  For instance, moving from development into pilot can be classified as a trigger event.  The Project Director or OCM team lead can build the communication framework for anticipated triggered events, leaving blanks for detailed data, so that when a pilot date is set, the team needs only fill in the blanks, send the communication through the appropriate approval process and execute. Early communication of trigger events helps manage stakeholder expectations.

Other trigger events cannot be anticipated; for example, there may be an unavoidable delay in “go live” or a risk is suddenly uncovered and needs a response.  These unanticipated trigger events can add delay to a project schedule, increase resistance or mistrust among the stakeholder population or ruin the reputation of the system solution.  As much as possible, solid response plans should be in place for these types of events. 

The Project Director or OCM team lead will document all anticipated trigger events for [Subject] and build appropriate shell communications to deliver agreed-upon messaging about the trigger event.  Similarly, the Project Director or OCM team lead will create the processes necessary to quickly execute responses to unanticipated trigger events.  Being prepared in this way can prevent project delay or reputational damage caused by a delayed response or lack of response.  Known trigger events are documented in the Communications Matrix with processes to handle non-anticipated trigger events documented in the Communications Standards.

7          Develop Communications

In this step, the Project Director or OCM team lead creates the Communication Standards that will be used for all project communications.  Generally these standards include:  Project logo, presentation/documentation templates, document management guidelines, file naming conventions, etc.  The standards may also include a process for requesting communications creation and/or delivery and a communication review and approval process.  The Project Director or OCM team lead completes the rough outline of the communication needed in every phase of the Project and populate the Communication Matrix (Appendix A). The contents of this matrix then become tasks within the overall Project Schedule.

The [Subject] project’s Communication Objectives are:

  • [Subject] project

To ensure smooth information flow within the project team itself, the following SharePoint site has been created as the project’s document management software.  In addition, the project will adhere to the Communication Standards documented below. 

In the SharePoint site, project team members can access presentations, the Project Charter, the Project Management Plan and other project-related documentation to inform their work. 

[Add SHAREPOINT SITE LINK]

A [Subject] intranet site has been created for all stakeholders and is easily accessed from the Agency’s intranet home page.  It will contain the following:

  • [Subject] monthly newsletter

As stakeholder communication needs grow other items will be added to the page (implementation schedule, conversion instructions, etc.).

[Add [Subject] INTRANET SITE LINK]

8          Communications Standards

Communication Standards for the project should be created during the Initiation or Planning Phases of a project.  The standards generally include templates, logos, intranet/project team site development, processes and forms for project team leadership or team members to use to communicate messaging needs to the Project Director or OCM team lead, etc.  These standards are documented and available through the [Subject] intranet site.

8.1                 Approved Templates

The PSC and Project Leadership have approved the following set of templates and other artifacts for [Subject] stakeholder communications:

  • [Subject] logo
  • [Subject] email signature
  • [Subject] MS Word Document template
  • [Subject] MS PowerPoint Slide design template
  • [Subject] SharePoint site:  [SITE URL]
  • [Subject] Share Drive and file naming conventions
  • [Subject] Intranet Site (internal to project team):  [Add SITE URL]
  • [Subject] Intranet Site (external stakeholders):  [Add SITE URL]

8.2                 Communications Approval Process

The following communications approval process has been approved by project leadership and is also documented in the Communications Standards document.

  1. [Subject] COMMUNICATIONS INBOX:  [EMAIL LINK HERE].

All of these items, in addition to more specific instructions for their use, can be found under the Communications folder on the [Subject] SharePoint site. 

8.3                 Approved Delivery Vehicles

Every Agency has its own communication vehicles, norms and guidelines.  A delivery vehicle is simply the medium through which communication is delivered (newsletter, email, web-based training, focus group, town hall, etc.).  There are numerous delivery vehicles available and each has its purpose, advantages and disadvantages.  A list of delivery vehicles, in what situations to consider using them, their benefits and disadvantages is provided in the Delivery Vehicles chart (Appendix B).  It is up to the Project Director and others on the project leadership team to determine which delivery vehicles the project will use.  The OCM team leader or Project Director will work with the Agency communications personnel, if applicable, to assess all available vehicles and to create guidelines for how the Agency can handle project communication most effectively.

[Subject] anticipates using several delivery vehicles for effective communication.  Below is a list of the delivery vehicles this project will employ to educate, inform and solicit input from stakeholders.

  • [Subject] mail box to make general announcements and to solicit just-in-time feedback, receive and answer questions from stakeholders
  • [Subject] intranet site as well as the Agency intranet site(s) as applicable.
  • [Subject] Sandbox exercises, Kick-off events in large geographic offices as rollout progresses, executive/leadership presentations during road shows or town halls, lessons learned sessions

9          Evaluate Communications

This last step in developing the Communication Management Plan should include a method of evaluating whether or not project communications are working; whether or not the target audience is responding to the messages.  In general messages can be used to:

This is why it is important, especially for new system implementations, to measure how the messages are changing behavior or increasing awareness.

All communications should be two-way, giving the target audience an opportunity to respond.  Candid feedback from the target audience is critical to successfully revise communication delivery vehicles, messages or senders to more effectively meet stakeholder needs. 

As noted in the Communications Matrix, regular, candid feedback from the target audience and Agency leadership is critical to successfully executing the overall Communication Management Plan.  Therefore, the following evaluation plan was developed to measure the value of the project’s communication efforts.  The project will use three methods to extract feedback from target audience members receiving communications in order to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the communications.

10     Guidelines for Meetings

Included in this template is a resource to help project team members conduct and participate in project meetings (Appendix C).

11     Project Team Directory

If possible, it is always preferable to tie Project Team directories to the email system at the organization so that information is continually up-to-date as changes are made via the already-existing email system administration function.  It is especially helpful if the Project Team Directory is available, via a link, on the Project Team intranet site.  A directory is critical to a comprehensive communications strategy.  One that is automatically updated and can be accessed electronically is preferable to a paper copy.

Appendix A – (Sample) Communication Matrix

Column Heading Definitions/Descriptions

Communication Deliverable:  The communication artifact/message itself

Target Audience:  The receivers of the communication

Objective:  The reason for delivering the communication

Frequency:  Indicates reoccurring or one-time-only communication delivery

Delivery Vehicle:  Indicates the method of providing the information

Owner:  The originator of the communication content

Effectiveness:  Audience perception of the effectiveness of the communication (its content, delivery, clarity, etc.) 

[Subject] Communication Matrix 
As of [DATE]
Communication DeliverableAudienceDescriptionDesired Outcome or BehaviorDelivery VehicleAuthorReview and ApprovalSender/ FacilitatorTimingEffective-ness (scale of 1-5 with 5 being most effective) 
REOCCURING – CURRENT STATE 
Agency business status, updates and decisionsAll Agency personnelInformation on Agency metrics, goals, objectives, progress toward goals, project news, etc.Leaders share best practices, settle issues, identify risks and responses, improve processesAgency Leadership MeetingCommissioner or Assistant Commissionern/aCommissioner or Assistant CommissionerBi-Weekly4 
[AGENCY NAME] NewsAll Agency personnelInformation on Agency metrics, goals, objectives, progress toward goals, project news, human interest stories, information on process changes, legislative changes, etc.Agency’s leadership team provides content; Agency personnel read news and stay up-to-date on project progress; increased excitemente-Newsletter on Agency websiteAgency leaders (assistants)Commissioner or Assistant CommissionerAgency Communication LeaderMonthly5 
Agency Employee DialogueAgency membersExecutive-level information sharing sessions on “hot topics”Group informed and involved; incorporates new regs into daily work; increases employee moraleTown Halls and/or WebExAgency Communication LeaderAgency LeadersAgency LeadersQuarterly3 
TRIGGERED – CURRENT STATE 
Legislative UpdatesAgency membersDetailed updates on legislation and changes in processesAgency members follow revised processesAlerts in email and posted on Agency Intranet Site followed by team meetingsAgency Communication Leader and regulation SMEAgency legal team and CommissionerAgency Communication LeaderAs needed5 
REOCCURING – PROJECT 
Project Steering Committee MeetingsPSC members, PD, Executive Sponsor, Business SponsorExecutive-level leadership meeting to share status, seek answers or helpChallenge status, provide resources, offer decisions, remove barriersPSC meetings; sometimes pre-read documentsPDExec SponsorPDBi-Weekly  
Project Team Leader MeetingsProject leads, PDTeam leads share status, challenges, concerns, obstacles, etc.Team seeks solution to problems, issuesProject Leader Team Meetings; reportsPDn/aPDWeekly  
Project All-Hands MeetingsAll project team membersStatus updates, celebrate progress, discuss next steps, review upcoming changesTeam members take responsibility to maintain or increase progress toward milestone goalsProject All-Hands Meetings; status reports; celebratory certificatesPD or OCM team leadProject team leadsPDQuarterly  
[PROJECT NAME] NewsAll project team members and non-project stake-holdersProject status, system benefits, human interest stories, etc.Project team provides content; non-project stakeholders read news and stay up-to-date on project progress; increased excitemente-Newsletter on Project and Agency websitesPD or OCM team leadExec Sponsor or proxyProject and/or Agency webmasterMonthly  
TRIGGERED – PROJECT 
Project Milestone MetAll project team membersMilestone description; congratulatory content; implications/impacts; next stepsPD and appropriate team lead/PM provide content; project team members energized by success or organized for risk responsePowerPoint deck; talking pointsPD or OCM team leadPD, Exec Sponsor or proxyPD, Exec Sponsor or proxydate anticipated from project schedule  
Two-week plan to pilot “go live”Project team members supporting pilot “go live”; pilot stake-holders; PSCInstructions, timing, logistics of all pre-pilot activitiesPre-pilot tasks completedPre-Pilot Instruction Manual(s)PD or OCM team leadPD, Exec Sponsor or proxy, pilot site leaderPD, Pilot site leaderdate anticipated from project schedule  

Appendix B – Delivery Vehicles & Media

There may be many options as to what types of vehicles and media can be used to deliver the messages.  Listed below are some suggestions that can also be used to create the communication matrix.

Delivery Vehicle/MediaAdvantagesDisadvantages
Meeting & Conference MaterialsBrands messaging to large audience; advertisingPaper-based and easily discarded
SpeechesShows support for initiative if delivered by Sponsor or respected Influencer; can motivate/inspireTemporary “high”; if not delivered by respected individual, can fall flat and be counter-productive
Road ShowsOffers non-project team stakeholders the opportunity to see something tangible rather than just read information; reduces anxiety if done well; best if done in context of a business processCan be expensive, technically challenging, risk of instability if script not thoroughly tested prior to implementation; could make the change about the system rather than a change in business process with the system as a tool
Employee ForumsOffers the opportunity for employees to assuage their curiosity with questions; promotes inclusion in the change and thus can promote trustIf not well facilitated, the forum could become a “gripe session”; all questions/comments cannot be scripted nor anticipated; risk of creating, rather than decreasing, anxiety and erode trust
BrochuresGraphics appeal to visual learners; can tell a story and be more memorable than a large communication; color and movement in graphics can create excitementPaper-based and easily discarded; graphics or messages can become confused if not concise enough
Electronic manuals/helpIf searchable and intuitive to use, can help new users feel more confidentIf not written within context of the job end users are trying to do, is less than helpful; avoid overly-technical language
VideosCan be watched on individual’s personal time table; multi-sensory experience enhances message retention; can provide motivation and a sense of fun to relieve anxietyCan be expensive to produce a quality product; some end users might not be capable of watching videos on-line and producing DVDs can be time consuming; professional graphics, music and concise messaging are critical for the message to be retained
AudioCan be listened to on individual’s personal time table; good for travelers who need quick updatesCan be expensive to produce a quality product; some end users might not be capable of listening to audio files on-line and producing CD’s can be time consuming; voice-over talent can be expensive; future direction is to deliver via ipod
NewslettersConsistently delivered updates covering wide variety of business related, as well as technology related content; graphics can cause excitement; if “pushed” may have enough readership for message to be accepted; can be delivered in paper or on-lineIf not already consistently delivered, may not get noticed; should not be the only delivery vehicle for messages
Fact SheetsAppeals to those who need more rather than less information; can be delivered via paper or on-lineSometimes difficult to gather timely, correct facts; must be continually updated; if in paper, facts can become obsolete quickly, leading to false information out in the field
Frequently Asked QuestionsWay to proactively answer questions that can be anticipated; non-threatening way for any stakeholder to ask a question and have it answered without repercussion; answers can reach entire stakeholder population; project team can use the questions to determine topics about which the end users might be anxiousIf published in paper, quickly obsolete, leading to outdated information out in the field; if questions are not answered in a timely fashion, can erode trust in the project and cause anxiety
Signs/PostersExcellent, inexpensive, constant reminders that the change is coming; can be motivating; picture can evoke emotion and tie current project to overall strategyThough relatively inexpensive, excellent graphics/photos can add costs; all stakeholders may not be in a workplace with walls upon which to hang signs
Facilitated Group MeetingsPromotes inclusion and ownership among stakeholders; allows discussion of sensitive issues in a safe environment; promotes decision-making and action planning; promotes understanding of all stakeholders’ perspectivesIf not facilitated tightly by an impartial, objective, trained facilitator, can devolve into conflict and/or non-action; can waste time and damage the reputation of the project
Brown Bag LunchesOften used as learning sessions, creates an atmosphere in which individuals generally offer more comments, questions due to its informality; quick; stakeholders can feel that the session is a productive use of their time since they eat as well (multi-tasking); can promote inclusion and motivationShould be single-subject targeted as it can be frustrating for stakeholders to try and tackle too many subjects while trying to eat; provide a facilitator/leader to get things started; can devolve into “fun lunch” and accomplish nothing but a good, collegial feeling with no resulting action items or evaluation of the effectiveness of the learning
Project Team Intranet SitePromotes open, documentable communication among project team members; large announcements can be distributed real-time; depending on content, can be motivational and promote high performance team behaviors; content does not have to become obsoleteIf not kept up-to-date, becomes a liability; cannot force the project team members to review the site frequently
Stakeholder Intranet SitePerfect for sending change messages, project status, calls for participation, lessons learned, frequently asked questions, benefits achieved, problems resolved, etc.If not kept up-to-date, becomes a liability; cannot force the project team members to review the site frequently

Appendix C – Guidelines for Meetings

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Agenda will be distributed at least 1 business day in advance of the meeting.  The Agenda should identify the presenter for each topic along with a time limit for that topic.  The first item in the agenda should be a review of action items from the previous meeting.

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes/notes will be distributed within 2 business days following the meeting.  Meeting minutes/notes will include the status of all items from the agenda along with new action items and the Parking Lot list.

Action Items

Action Items are recorded in both the meeting agenda and minutes.  Action items will include both the action item along with the owner of the action item.  Meetings will start with a review of the status of all action items from previous meetings and end with a review of all new action items resulting from the meeting.  The review of the new action items will include identifying the owner for each action item.

Meeting Chair Person

The Chair Person is responsible for distributing the meeting agenda, facilitating the meeting and distributing the meeting minutes.  The Chair Person will ensure that the meeting starts and ends on time and that all presenters adhere to their allocated time frames.

Note Taker

The Note Taker is responsible for documenting the status of all meeting items, maintaining a Parking Lot item list and taking notes of anything else of importance during the meeting.  The Note Taker will give a copy of their notes to the Chair Person at the end of the meeting as the Chair Person will use the notes to create the Meeting Minutes.

Time Keeper

The Time Keeper is responsible for helping the facilitator adhere to the time limits set in the meeting agenda.  The Time Keeper will let the presenter know when they are approaching the end of their allocated time.  Typically a quick hand signal to the presenter indicating how many minutes remain for the topic is sufficient.

Parking Lot

The Parking Lot is a tool used by the facilitator to record and defer items which aren’t on the meeting agenda; however, merit further discussion at a later time or through another forum.

A parking lot record should identify an owner for the item as that person will be responsible for ensuring follow-up.  The Parking Lot list should be included in the meeting minutes.


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