This is Episode 8 of Can We Talk about your WordPress Projects? where I’m giving you advice on all things project management related to WordPress projects. And in this current series we’re covering all the processes and plans that you need to put in place to get a rock solid project management approach going to your projects, whether you’re an agency or an individual provider.
The Importance of a Communication Management Plan
Today, we’re going to talk about the communication plan and why that’s so important. It’s important to not only spell out what the hierarchy is of communication, but how you and the client will communicate. What I mean by hierarchy is – if you’ve got a large team that’s how the team member communicates with the project manager and how the project manager communicates with the client and on up through the hierarchy.
That’s the easy part. What’s harder is when it’s you or your agency and specifying to your client how you want to communicate. Maybe your favorite method of communication is text, or maybe you’ve got a customer relationship management tool that captures customer interaction and you want them to communicate with you that way. Well, it’s really important to spell that out in your communication management plan and then put that in your proposal and go over it with the client – BEFORE you ever get into the detail of the project.
Let them know how you work, how you want to be communicated with, and then also ask them how they want you to communicate with them.
Elements of a Good Communication Management Plan
A good communication plan basically has three things.
- It details among whom the communication will take place. (Who’s going to be involved in his whole communication process?)
- It specifies the preferred method of communication.
- It describes what happens if the communication process is not followed.
What to Do When the Client Doesn’t Follow the Plan
If somehow the client got your personal phone number and started sending you texts, if your communication plan does not specify texts as a channel, it is not a good idea to respond to them that way.
Your communication plan should spell out what happens. I have one student who says the way that he handles this is he says, “Look, if you text me, I may still respond to you, but you’re going to get a much slower response than if you email me.” He puts some caveats in there as to what happens if you don’t communicate the proper way. You get faster service if you do it the right way. Bottom line.
Your communication management plans needs to include the elements listed above and then you need to modify it and customize it for each client.
In the next episode we’re going to talk about the Requirements Definition Process or the “deep dive” discovery. How do you get the information from the client to figure out what they need on their website? I call that requirements management, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next episode.
So until then, as always, stay strong, stay productive. And I’ll see you soon.