Project Management

The Agile Alternative to Communications Management Plans

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

Dolphins are easier to track than submarines. They surface more often and are usually within view of where you last saw them. Subs, on the other hand, can disappear for months or years at a time, and it is difficult to tell where they have gone.

What does this have to do with project communications? Has Mike finally gone mad?

These are valid questions, so let me explain. Many traditional project management deliverables have agile alternatives. For instance, a product backlog is somewhat analogous to a work breakdown structure. A release roadmap contains many of the elements of a Gantt chart. Yet we rarely see agile communications management plans. Why is this?

Why We Have Communication Management Plans
Projects can be time-consuming and costly, and tie-up valuable employees for long periods with no guarantee of the outcome initially hoped for. So, the responsible thing to do is to agree upfront on how everyone will be kept informed of the project’s progress, risks, issues, etc. This is where a good communications management plan comes in.

The project communications management plan outlines how all the various stakeholder groups will be kept informed of progress and issues. It outlines the frequency, format and distribution channels that will be used for communications. Given the high rates of change often experienced on agile projects, we might expect more …


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I've never heard of a relationship being affected by punctuation.

- Jerry Seinfeld