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How to Build a Project Team Communication Plan

The Flow TeamLast Updated: October 15, 2020

As a manager or team leader, you’re likely to know your team members well, including the strengths, work preferences, interpersonal dynamics, and communication styles that can make a project successful. Even before your client gives you the green light to start working on a project, you have probably already begun building the ideal team in your mind that will develop the best solutions and hit project milestones. 

Once the project starts, it’s critical to keep both your client and internal team on the same page. To communicate effectively with everyone on board, you’ll need a solid project team communication plan. This can help you keep everyone in the loop while streamlining the workflow and increasing the overall productivity.     

Creating a High-Level Project Team Communication Plan

When working on complex and interdependent projects, loopholes in communication can cause misunderstandings and unnecessary delays. A well-developed project team communication plan can help you avoid such scenarios, and creating this plan begins with the following steps:

Outlining communication goals

It’s crucial to understand the goals behind a project team communication plan. If you are unable to identify the goals, communication between the team and the client can become unproductive. An ideal team communication plan should improve engagement among team members while gathering input from everyone onboard.  

Identifying key stakeholders in the project

The team members you chose to spearhead the project are at the core of your communication plan. But they are not the only stakeholders. External vendors, internal departments, and even the points of contact from the client side are among other key players in any given project, and need to be kept in the loop as well.

Selecting tools for communication

This is the most important aspect of the project team communication plan. A team communication plan cannot be effective if you lack the right communication tools to implement it. Communication modes such as in-person meetings, video calls, emails, discussion boards, collaboration tools, and chat apps are some of the most common and widely used methods of interacting with both clients and team members. As a team manager, it’s equally important to organize and schedule the frequency of communication in order to optimize productivity.

Evaluating the efficiency of the communication plan

Getting feedback from both your team members and clients can help you evaluate the efficiency of the project team communication plan. Is your team receiving enough input to work on the project and feel supported? Are your team members able to clearly understand the project requirements? Is your client happy with the progress of the project? These are some of the questions that will determine how the project team communication plan is performing.   

Though it may seem simple to create a project team communication plan, the catch is to implement it effectively. If you are switching between different platforms and tools to execute the plan, stress is inevitable and you may be missing out on relevant information. That’s why you need an all-in-one project management platform to build and implement your team communication plan.      

Incorporating a Project Team Communication Plan through an Integrated Platform

There is no hard-and-fast rule for how your project team communication plan should look, as long as it serves its purpose in helping the team communicate effectively. For example, you can create a simple template in Excel and share it with everyone on your team. However, when you are working alongside a large team with multiple stakeholders involved in the communication plan, an Excel sheet can become messy and confusing quite quickly. An intuitive task and project management platform can help you address such constraints through the following features: 

  • Visibility through a project dashboard: Getting an overview of all project-related tasks in a Kanban board,calendar view or comprehensive task list can help you track the progress of your project team. 
  • Planning with project timelines: A well-defined project timeline saves your team from unnecessary stress at the eleventh hour. Mapping out the timeline, assigning or tagging team members to specific tasks, and sharing your plan with the team gives a clear picture of the workflow against the deadlines. 
  • Organizing and prioritizing tasks: When you have a long list of personal to-dos or project-related tasks to be delegated to other team members, it can often become confusing. A project management platform helps you organize your tasks and prioritize them while getting clarity over your team members’ workload before assigning them work. In case a teammate is overwhelmed, you can easily reassign the task to others and rebalance the workload.  
  • Real-time notifications: Real-time notifications about the status of tasks and comments from your team help you understand the workflow better on a day-to-day basis. With just a glance, you can view a summarized feed of all recent notifications and updates, allowing you to remain in the loop about everything related to the project.    
  • Built-in chat feature: A task management platform with a built-in chat feature can transform team communication into actionable steps. While speaking with several team members at a time, there is a high chance of valuable ideas and information getting lost in the conversation trail. By capturing all of your conversations and organizing them under respective tasks or projects, a chat tool can make team discussions easier and more productive.   

Such features in a project management platform give you the advantage of implementing the project team communication plan on a day-to-day basis. So, rather than going back and forth with the original project team communication plan, you can directly implement it through a project management software and get real-time updates on the progress of the project. This helps you gain clarity on the efficiency of the plan and gives insight into how you can finetune it to further achieve the project goals.

With Flow’s beautifully designed project management platform, you can create a robust project team communication plan for any team size. Learn how our powerful built-in chat feature can further support your team. Start your free trial today