Communications Plan

Background: It is widely understood that 90% of a project manager’s time is spent in one form of communication or another. This is never more the case than when there are 18 vendors working from different states to integrate all of their solutions on one project while on a tight time line. This is also very true in academia where most of the stakeholders are VIPs and mistakes are not well tolerated. The key is to effective communication is consistency and transparency. One particularly helpful tool was a forum in SharePoint that allowed anyone that attended a meeting to post the minutes for all team members to view and comment on.

Overview: The sheer volume of vendor meetings during a large project is mind-boggling. These meetings may be between only the PM and a vendor or may have several people on a conference call or in-person. There are often several topics covered within the same meeting, some important and some mundane. In every case, the details must be captured in writing and available for the project team and for posterity.

A custom SharePoint list has proven to be very good at capturing this information easily and allows for comments from team members to clarify or discuss details from the meetings. This is an example of the meeting minutes in SharePoint

Example:

This format allowed threaded conversations and follow up:

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