Click on the title above for an article called “Talk Talk” originally published on in July, 2002. I was skimming through links on gantthead and came upon it. The premise is “To have effective communication, the project leader–and the whole team–must recognize the communication needs of the customer and the various stakeholders involved to make the project a success.”

The author presents a matrix illustrating how the level and scope of communication needs to be adjusted based on the complexity of the project and the needs of the customer and stakeholders.

I have fallen into more of a boilerplate communication plan habit of including the same-old, same-old for each project. Reading the article provided me insight into the fact that there are different communication needs on a per project and per customer basis. Also adding to the “bulb lighting up” is a recent experience with a project sponsor.

I was managing a project that appeared to be going smoothly. We were having regular project meetings, we had a well defined scope and project objectives, and we were delivering. Unexpectedly, I receive an email from the sponsor indicating that he does not know what the status of the project is and that overall project communication has been poor. Apparently, the sponsor did not feel that enough communication was being “pushed” to him and that put him out of the loop. After a brief discussion with him, we were able to agree on a communication method that was better suited to his information needs on this particular project. Had I had this discussion up front, this communication gap (and subsequent email) would have been avoided.