PMP Certification Study Notes 10 – Project Communications Management


PMP Communication Management

UPDATED for the new PMP® Exam thru 2020. Happy learning!

In PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, this Project Management Knowledge Area is updated as “Project Communications Management” with a “s” after “Communication”. PMI tries to differentiate between “Communication” and “Communications” here in the new PMBOK® Guide.

Introduction: This part of the PMP® exam study notes (updated for new PMP® Exam thru 2020) is based on Section 10 of new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition. The study notes have been rewritten to reflect the latest changes in the PMBOK® Guide for the new PMP® Exam. More information on my PMP® certification exam preparation can be found at my PMP® exam and certification journey (with free PMP® study resources and tips) here.

Please note that the study notes below is intended to include only the most important or esaily confused PMP® concepts. It is by no means complete in the sense that one can rely on it to be fully prepared for the PMP® Exam. Aspirants are advised to make use of this piece of study notes for revision purposes. Wish you PMP® success!

In PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, this Project Management Knowledge Area is updated as “Project Communications Management” with a “s” after “Communication”. PMI tries to differentiate between “Communication” and “Communications” here in the new PMBOK® Guide:

  • Communications — a system/technology for sending and receiving information
  • Communication — exchange of messages/information between individuals

Project Communications Management

  • assure the timely collection, generation, distribution, storage, retrieval and ultimate disposition of project information
  • this Knowledge Area is very important to the ultimate success of the project
  • message transmission: 7% in word, 38% in vocal pitch, 55% in body language (according to Albert Mehrabian)
  • must not delay in communicating good and even bad news
  • the sender has the responsibility to ensure the receiver correctly understand the message
  • if part of the project is procured, more formal written communication will be expected

Plan Communications Management


  • Inputs: Project Charter, Project Management Plan, Project Documents, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Expert Judgement, Communication Requirements Analysis, Communication Technology, Communication Models, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Data Representation, Meetings
  • Outputs: Communications Management Plan, Project Management Plan Update, Project Documents Update

  • identify the needs for communication with stakeholders of the project
    • including the who, what, when (frequency), why, where and how of communications needs and the persons responsible
    • may need to limit who can communicate with whom and who will receive what information
    • time and budget for the resources, escalation path, flow charts, constraints, guideline and templates
  • efficient communication: only the required messages
  • effective communication: right timing, right format, right medium
  • Communication Methods
    • interactive (multidirectional communication, most effective)
    • push (active, messages sent without validation of receipt)
    • pull (passive, access directly by stakeholders)
  • low context vs high context (Japanese — more polite)
  • (Shannon-Weaver model) Sender-Receiver Model: i) encoded the idea, ii) message and feedback, iii) medium, iv) noise level, v) the decoded idea. The sender to ensure info is clear, complete and the recipient correct understands. The recipient to ensure the complete message is received (to acknowledge) and provide feedback/response.
  • Effective Listening:
    • feedback
    • active listening
    • paralingual (voice expression, nonverbal elements)
  • Communication channels: N (N -1) / 2      // N is the number of team members
  • meetings should facilitate problem-solving
  • As a norm, PM spends 90% of their time on COMMUNICATION activities, 50% of the time is spent on communicating with the team

Manage Communications


  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, Work Performance Reports, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Communication Technology, Communication Models, Communication Skills, Project Mangement Information System, Project Reporting, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Data Representation, Meetings
  • Outputs: Project Communications, Project Management Plan Update, Project Documents Update, OPA Update

  • create, collect, distribute, store, retrieve and dispose of project information according to the Communications Management Plan
    • ensures good communication, noises managed, stakeholders may feedback on how to improve
  • Communication Barriers vs Communication Enhancers
  • 55% message thru body language, 38% thru paralingual, 7% thru words used
  • Types of Communications: Formal Written, Formal Verbal, Information Written, Informal Verbal
  • Interpersonal and Team Skills include:
    • Active listening
    • Conflict management
    • Cultural awareness
    • Meeting management
    • Networking
    • Political awareness
  • Project Reporting: status, progress, variance, trend, earned value reports and forecasts, summary of changes, risks and issues
  • PM Plan Update to show the latest performance (against Performance Measurement Baseline)
  • Feedback from stakeholders are to be stored in OPA

Monitor Communications (formerly Control Communications)


  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, Work Performance Data, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Expert Judgement, Project Management Information System, Data Analysis, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Meetings
  • Outputs: Work Performance Information, Change Requests, Project Management Plan Update, Project Documents Update

  • to ensure optimal information flow for effective stakeholder expectation management
  • issue log is to document the issues and monitor its resolutions (by the person responsible)
  • Data Analysis tool includes stakeholder engagement assessment matrix — to assess the current situation of communication effectiveness through the review of changes between the desired and current engagement and adjusting communications (alternative ways/frequency/methods) as necessary

 

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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5 Responses

  1. VENKATA MADHUSUDAN VEMURI says:

    Dear Mr. Edward,

    Hope you ae doing well. Many best wishes to you. You are doing a great service by giving so much information to aspirants. By the way, I have the following questions:
    If you have about 35 days for PMP preparation,

    – how much of PMBOK can you actually read(i.e. understand and grasp)?
    – Is reading part 2 of PMBOK guide 6 which is the standard ok? apart from reading the list of key terms of about 300 or so in the end of the book..
    This part of about 100 pages explains the processes through the 5 process groups. From the exam point of view is it ok??..
    – Is it better to take the exam from home(online proctor) or from a test centre….I had a very unexpected and unfortunate experience taking online. hence this
    question…
    – Practice scores do they really matter for the actual test? are they sacrosanct?
    I have seen people getting practice scores in the 60 – 65 – 70 range but still having done well in the final PMP exam..

    Appreciate your thoughts and reply….Thanks and regards …

    • Thanks for your questions!

      1) maybe about 3/4, the point is to understand the general framework
      2) Yes, but if you would like to have better results, reading the rest is also important
      3) I would choose to take in an exam center if it is not too far away from where you live to be free from any distractions at home
      4) Yes, this is a reliable indicator of your actual score

      Anyway, wish you PMP success!

  2. Amanda says:

    Hi Edward,

    Is it necessary to include PM when calculating the communication channel? I search from web, some said need to include, but said no need…

    Thanks!

  3. Stephane says:

    Edward,
    I must say one thing, your PMP exam tips are amazing. I am preparing my exam right now (date is 25 July).
    Your PMP notes helps me a lot.
    Thank you so much for sharing.