Communications Management

Communications Management is the process that will be used to ensure consistent project information is distributed in a timely manner to the people who need it, in an appropriate format.

Maintaining good communication across functional boundaries—as well as with consultants, contractors, outside agencies, and others—is critical to a project's success. Good communication planning highlights the importance of timely change management and consistent communication, in both frequency and format, as a means to relay critical information and maintain a positive relationship with stakeholders.

The Communications Plan identifies who needs what information, when they need the information, how that information will be provided, and who is responsible to share the information.  It sets expectations, frequency, and documentation for regular communications including: 

  • Project team meetings.
  • Agendas & Meeting minutes. It is good practice to have a formal agenda for every meeting, and to issue meeting minutes, including action items and completion dates.
  • Communication log.


 Components of a Communication Plan include:

1. A narrative that identifies:

  • The document control software.  This is usually ProjectWise, but may be different for larger projects and projects that use an innovative contract.
  • The Public Information Specification.  Coordinate with the Region Communications Manager to determine the appropriate Public Information Services Tier (I, II, III, or IV) for your project.
  • Pre-award, public information activities such as public communications, public meetings, and outreach events.  Be sure to plan for schedule and budget needed to support interactions.

2. A Communications Matrix that documents stakeholders, their roles and interests, and strategies for informing and interacting with them. The stakeholder level of interest in the project will influence the number and type of external communications that the PM will plan. The Matrix addresses: 

  • Who will receive the information
  • What project information will be shared
    • Meeting minutes with details of open action items and decisions
    • Project status reports
  • How information will be provided
  • When information will be provided
  • With what frequency
  • Who is responsible for distribution

Be sure to consider local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, the general public, and  other potentially interested parties such as commuters, pedestrians, special interest groups such as bicycle clubs, local businesses, local media, etc.

3. A Communications Log that is a template that the PM will use to document crucial project conversations, emails, etc. Cataloging important communications for easy reference and tracking saves time by eliminating the need to research hundreds of emails when dealing with an issue.