Creating a new project management office (PMO) shouldn’t happen in a silo. You need to make sure you’re set up for success with a strong communication plan from the beginning.
It’s all well and good having a new office with the right people, the right processes, and the right KPIs. You will still need great communication to be able to establish your PMO and make sure people know why you are there and what you’re tasked to accomplish.
We’re going to look at what makes a good communication plan and the five reasons it will help your PMO succeed.
What does a good PMO communication plan look like?
A communication plan needs to be easy to understand, accessible, and well-defined for it to be effective. You will need to make sure your plan does the following:
- Identify stakeholders and understand what they are going to be told and what channels you’ll use for each.
- Establish clear objectives, such as educating, informing, and celebrating successes.
- Understand the available channels, which audiences they are most suited for, and how often they should be used.
- Define roles and responsibilities so everyone in your PMO knows what element of the plan is for them to execute.
- Have templates to make sure communications are standardised and easy to roll out.
- Lay out feedback mechanisms so that when there is an issue with communications, it’s clear who is in charge and how to reach them.
Each PMO will have different communication needs, but these principles should help guide you to building a plan that will work for your circumstances.
Why do I need a communication plan for my PMO?
Communications may feel out of scope for your PMO, but you need to make sure the wider business understands your purpose and your successes.
Here are the five reasons why you need to establish strong communication within your PMO:
1. Set clear expectations
Your stakeholders, from the C-suite to the workers on project teams, need to understand what you’re all about. Being able to clearly communicate at all levels of the business will ensure there is no resentment or misunderstanding towards your new office.
2. Strategic alignment
Good internal communications will help everyone within your PMO understand how they fit into the wider PMO and business mission. Communicating with other areas of the business makes sure they can see your office’s value in terms of the business strategy, too.
3. Mitigating risk
When you can communicate clearly and openly across the PMO and wider business, risks can be identified and dealt with more smoothly. For example, when you communicate a change to process in good time, potential issues can be raised by a project manager before roll-out.
4. Creating feedback loops
Being able to communicate well means you’re able to take in feedback. Have a 360° feedback loop so that you can put out and receive good communications, helping you to improve the services your office gives and engage better with stakeholders.
5. Increased collaboration
With strong communication comes good collaboration. By showing your PMO team, projects, and the wider business that you’re open to share your work and take feedback, you will encourage people to work together to get better end results.
Communications in a new PMO
It is important that your stakeholders know what is going on with your PMO. Different audiences require different forms of communication – project workers probably need to know more details and reasons why, whereas the C-suite will want headline numbers and periodic successes.
Setting up your new PMO with great communication will make sure that it will be successful now and in the future.