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Beyond Reporting - The Communication Strategy 

Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.
Clifford Stoll

Keywords: Project Reports, Communication. 

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Beyond Reporting - The Communication Strategy   [P094]

Reporting and communicating are not the same!  Every project, program and PMO manager produces reports on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis but these reports are not necessarily communication. Effective communication with key stakeholders required sending messages that are received, understood and where appropriate, acted upon by the stakeholder. Communication is a two way process, at the very least, for a communication to be complete, the sender needs to know the message has been received and understood.

Communicating effectively with stakeholders is as much an art as a science. It starts with understanding who the important stakeholders are, the ones the team must invest a greater communication effort in (standard reports can be used for the rest). Then determining the reason you need to communicate with the person and designing a communication strategy to achieve your desired outcome.  Finally, as the communication strategy is implemented, processes need to be in place to measure the effectiveness of the communication and make sure it is working effectively. 

Effective communication with key stakeholders is a critical element in achieving a successful project outcome; simply producing reports is not enough. This paper will provide a framework for managers to use to plan, design, implement and measure the effectiveness of their communication strategies with key stakeholders and help achieve successful outcomes for their projects and programs.

See also Lynda's posts on this topic at PMI's Voices on Project Management blog
 -  The Value of Reports
 -  Stakeholder Perceptions Are Paramount and The Other Side of the Argument
 -  The Right Information For the Right People

Author: Lynda Bourne

Presented, Feb. 2010, at
PMI Congress
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