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Communication Plan Template What is a Communication Plan? The communication plan describes what will be communicated and the authority required, how it will be communicated, by when, and by whom, during the programme. The objectives of the communication plan are: o To define how relevant information, such as the programme's objectives, plans and progress, is to be communicated to the identified stakeholders involved in the programme. o To identify the mechanisms that will be used to achieve effective communication. o To indicate how the stakeholders' views and input will be received and processed by the programme. o To identify the personnel who will be responsible for maintaining the communications. o To establish and manage the ongoing communication process about the programme. Key Criteria: Need to identify who are the stakeholders? o Stakeholders range from group and or individuals who have an interest in the outcome of the change What outcomes do the priority stakeholders want? Who / what is likely to be disadvantaged by the programme success? Source Information: Stakeholder Management Strategy Stakeholder Map Vision Statement Blueprint Hints and Tips for Successful Communications: Message clarity to ensure relevance and recognition Stakeholder identification and analysis: to send the right message to the right audience A system of collection: to obtain feedback and assess the effectiveness of the communication process A system of delivery: to bring the above points together How to use this template? The template contains sections, which can be developed at a number of levels of detail depending upon individual organisational need. A number of different text styles have been used within the template, as follows: Text in italics is intended to provide a guide as to the kind of information that can be included in a section and to what types of projects it might be applicable. Text in normal font is intended as the main structure. All text in red should be deleted as the document is developed. Communication Plan Key Messages Give a description of key messages and programme information to be communicated and the objectives for delivering these communications. These messages are for the programme as a whole and do not relate solely to one stakeholder. For more specific messages, each project within the programme will be expected to have its own communications plan. These messages will evolve as the programme evolves, but can be usefully understood under key headings about the programme: Reasons - vision, outcomes and strategic objectives that will be achieved as a result of this programme Benefits – all positive tangible and intangible benefits that might be used to motivate stakeholder involvement in the programme Projects – many stakeholders are interested in the actions that the programme is taking, so are keen to know about a specific project or the full range of projects that the programme will undertake Changes – the transition activities will be of interest to those impacted by them, and by those who are yet to experience change as a result of the programme but will do so later in its lifecycle. They will have a specific interest in how well the change was received and lessons that can be learnt. This is not an exhaustive list, and at any time in the programme, specific stakeholders will require or expect communications about specific aspects. For example, a risk that could affect them or a change to a project or output that they are involved in. Responsibilities Assign responsibilities for delivering key messages and other information about the programme, and for receiving information back from stakeholders. Depending on the size and complexity of the communications needs, the responsibilities could be taken on by individuals carrying out other roles, or a small team might need to be formed if the tasks are particularly onerous. The responsibilities may involve: Sponsoring Group Senior Responsible Owner Business Change Manager Programme Manager Stakeholders Identification of the stakeholder audience for each communication Channels Identify and describe the methods that will be used to achieve the required communication for each stakeholder group. Possible channels include, but are not limited to: o Paper documents o E-Mail, including attachment of electronic documents etc. o Videos o Seminars and workshops o Intranet/Internet o Bulletins, briefings departmental publications o Announcements o Press Release o Face to face meetings Schedule Schedule of two-way communications activities including target audiences for each Feedback Process for handling feedback, through a feedback log, how objections will be identified and handled and including approach to managing negative publicity Project communication Reference to any supporting project and business operations communications activity that is taking place as part of the programme.
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