Communication plan template

Good communication can make or break a project. Keep everyone on the same page and clearly communicate important information to stakeholders by creating a communication plan template in Asana.

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Miscommunications happen. In life, miscommunications might mean you arrive at a restaurant 10 minutes late or forget it’s your turn to host a weekly dinner. In project management, miscommunications can be more consequential—leading to project scope creep, missed deadlines, and unhappy stakeholders.

To reduce miscommunications and keep everyone on the same page, you need a communication plan template. A communication plan template outlines how your team plans to communicate with stakeholders throughout the project. By setting expectations, these templates keep your team aligned to reduce unnecessary work, cut down on miscommunications, and ensure everyone gets the right project information at the right time.

What is a communication plan?

In project management, a communication plan is an overview of how your team plans to communicate important project information to key stakeholders. Effective communication plans include information about how and when to communicate during a project, such as how often your team will share project updates and what channels they should use. By providing an overview of what stakeholders need to know (and when they need to know it), these plans cut down on unnecessary work and ensure everyone is on the same page when sharing project details.  

What is a communication plan template?

A communication plan template is an outline of a basic project communication plan. This template provides a standard structure your team can use to build communication plans for every project they work on—so teams always follow the same steps and nothing falls through the cracks. 

You can think of it this way: Without a template, your team would have to create a communication plan from scratch every time they start a new project. With a template, your team simply needs to make a copy to build their project communication strategy based on the structure outlined.

Why do you need a communication plan template?

A strategic communication plan is a must-have for every project, since it cuts down on miscommunication and ensures everyone gets the right project information in the right channels. Communication plan templates take this one step further by creating a standardized structure you can use again and again, no matter the project.

With a digital communication plan template, you can: 

  • Ensure everyone is on the same page about how and where to communicate project information to stakeholders.

  • Create an owner for each piece of information, so everyone understands their responsibilities.

  • Reduce duplicative work by standardizing where you share information.

  • Cut down on miscommunication and unnecessary work, like unproductive meetings that could have been communicated async.

  • Provide communication guidelines for the whole team, so you can clearly communicate and move forward with work.

  • Encourage transparency for internal team members and external stakeholders.

  • Reduce app switching with integrated features and business apps, so you can focus on producing high-impact work.  

  • Create a standardized structure for delivering updates.

  • Give stakeholders a place to leave feedback and collaborate with your team throughout the project.

  • Align expectations of internal team members and external stakeholders, reducing scope creep and keeping the project on track. 

What’s included in a communication plan template?

A communication plan template provides a structure you can use to develop your communication plan for any project. At a high level, a communication plan template should include:

  • A description of the information you’re planning to share (for example, updates on project milestones or deliverables).

  • How often you’ll share this information (for example, sending weekly project updates).

  • The format or communication channels you’ll use to communicate the information (for example, using Zoom for team meetings or brainstorms; using Slack for quick, asynchronous check-ins).

  • The target audience you’re communicating with (for example, external stakeholders).

  • The project team member responsible for sharing the information. 

How do you use a communication plan template?

Your communication plan template shouldn’t be static—it’s a dynamic tool you can update and customize to ensure your team meets your project’s communication needs. Once you’ve made a copy of the basic communication plan template, you can begin customizing it for your specific project. Steps to follow might include: 

  • Identifying key stakeholders who need project updates.

  • Establishing your communication methods for both synchronous and asynchronous communication

  • Outlining your action plan for updating stakeholder groups about different project details.

  • Determining the types of project updates you’ll share and who you need to include in each update.

  • Working with stakeholders to identify their ideal method of communication for receiving project information.

  • Determining the frequency of updates to best serve stakeholder needs and keep the project on track. 

  • Assigning an owner to the information-sharing tasks, so your team aligns on responsibilities. 

  • Setting up custom tags to highlight essential details, such as the frequency of updates and where your team will share them.  

  • Using recurring tasks to keep your communication plan on track. 

A communication plan template creates transparency for your team and reduces miscommunication by clearly defining what information gets shared and who on your team is responsible for sharing it. Our synced features and business apps make communicating even easier with features that reduce app switching and streamline information sharing. 

Integrated features

  1. List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.

  2. Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.

  3. Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization. 

  4. Adding tasks to multiple projects. The nature of work is cross-functional. Teams need to be able to work effectively across departments. But if each department has their own filing system, work gets stalled and siloed. Asana makes it easy to track and manage tasks across multiple projects. This doesn't just reduce duplicative work and increase cross-team visibility. It also helps your team see tasks in context, view who’s working on what, and keep your team and tasks connected.

Recommended apps

  1. Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack. 

  2. Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

  3. Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.

  4. Gmail. With the Asana for Gmail integration, you can create Asana tasks directly from your Gmail inbox. Any tasks you create from Gmail will automatically include the context from your email, so you never miss a beat. Need to refer to an Asana task while composing an email? Instead of opening Asana, use the Asana for Gmail add-on to simply search for that task directly from your Gmail inbox. 

FAQs

What is a communication plan template?

A communication plan template is a reusable resource that provides a structure to define your project’s communication plan. These templates cut down unnecessary work and reduce miscommunication by getting your team and external stakeholders on the same page about what type of project information is shared (and when). 

Who should use a communication plan template?

Communication plan templates are relevant for every project involving multiple team members or stakeholders. These templates are critical to reducing unnecessary meetings and making sure everyone gets the right project information at the right time. 

What should a communication plan template include?

Your communication plan template should include basic information detailing how you plan to communicate with stakeholders throughout the project. This includes a description of the information you'll share, the frequency with which you'll share it, and the format you’ll share it in.

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