Project Title: BH Health
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Project Sponsor: BH financial manager
Project Manager: (Add your name here as the project manager.)
Table 1: Project Communications (created by the author).
|Prepared By||Sent By||Reviewed By||Received By||Frequency||Delivery|
|Project spendings outline||Project manager||Project manager||Case managers||Sponsor||Weekly|
|Number of patients contacted||Project manager||Project manager||Sponsor||Case managers||Weekly||Google Docs|
|Planned vs. actual patients enrolled in BH||Case manager 1||Case manager 1||Case managers 2-3||Project manager||Daily||Goodge Docs|
|Patients discharged from the hospital||NCH||NCH||Project manager||Case managers||Daily||Electronic health record system|
|Discussion of the BH progress||Project manager||Project manager||Sponsor||Case managers, sponsor||Weekly||Skype|
|Project progress discussion||Project manager||Project manager||Sponsor||Case managers||Daily||Blackboard|
|Project progress||Project manager||Project manager||Case managers||Physicians||Monthly|
|Project purpose||Case managers||Case managers||Project manager||Patients||Daily||Phone|
|Project initiation||Project manager||Project manager||Case managers||Sponsor, physicians, patients||Once|
|Project initiation meeting||Project manager||Project manager||Case managers||Case managers, sponsor||Once||Meeting|
Project Communication Plan
Communication is an integral part of Behavioral Health’s execution because it enables notification of primary stakeholders, including case managers and patients, about the purpose and progress of this program. Contemporary communication means allow the project manager to choose from a variety of online and offline sources, ensuring that each stakeholder is up to date with the BH’s strategy. This paper will present a communication plan for the people involved in the BH and provide an assessment of best practices.
Best Practices of Project Communication
On the one hand, the primary purpose of communication is to convey information, provide updates, or present the project to stakeholders; thus it can be viewed as a way for transferring data from one source to the other. However, Ziek and Dwight (2015) argue that project communication is not only a “proper and timely delivery of pertinent project information” since it requires a dialog between individuals (p. 788). As such, it is vital for the execution of tasks because by creating a dialog between stakeholders the manager can affect the outcomes of work and enable the success of BH since relevant issues, barriers, or concerns can be voiced through this two-way exchange. Viswanathan (2012) substantiates this by arguing that one should divide stakeholders into two groups – those who will be consulted and people who will be updated on the results of BH without additional discussions. This communications plan considers this aspect and will adjust the communication types and means based on this classification to ensure that stakeholders who only need to be informed do not receive invitations to group meetings, which will reduce the amount of unnecessary information.
Therefore, BH will focus on interpersonal communication and use tools such as Skype, offline meetings, and blackboards to encourage discussion of the project itself and specific tasks in particular. Moreover, this will be a regular activity carried out each week to ensure that each team member is up to date with the progress. Also, upon the initiation of this project, an email will be sent out to all stakeholders to present them with the purpose and scope of operations and the primary goal. Although Viswanathan (2012) recommends avoiding group emailing, in this case, it is necessary to ensure that all individuals have relevant information about BH that they can refer to if necessary. An additional discussion for case managers will be issued as well to communicate the start of the BH project to them.
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The project communicating plan will serve as a guideline identifying approaches to delivering information and people responsible for the execution of each part. Biafore (2011) compares the communication plan to a roadmap, which helps ensure that interactions are carried out comfortably for each participant. Firstly, one should determine the stakeholders who will be participating in BH to determine what information will be communicated to them, when, and how.
Table 1 presents the communication plantable that outlines major stakeholders – project sponsor, project manager, case managers, NCH, physicians, and patients. Biafore (2011) argues that the project team is the primary stakeholder, and thus, the communication between team members should be set up in an efficient and easy-to-use manner. For this purpose, meetings and group emails will be used to update team members on the work of their colleagues. Next, the management stakeholders, in this case, the project sponsor and project leader are an essential part of the communications plan (Biafore, 2011). They will receive updates regarding the progress and financial aspect of the BH to ensure that they can make necessary adjustments to operations if required.
Arguably, there is no unified communication method that will be suitable for all projects and all tasks. Thus, BH will use emails, phone calls, Skype, Google Docs, and blackboards for interactions. Google offers a wide variety of options that enable active cooperation, including group email addresses, Docs where Gantt charts can be created to track progress, and Calendar for scheduling deadlines and meetings (“Top 10 ways to use G Suite,” n.d.). Offline communication is vital for BH as well and can be easily facilitated because BH is a small project with four team members.
Relevant assumptions in regards to best practices involve the fact that this project has three team members as case managers and a project manager. Additionally, it is assumed that all stakeholders have a sufficient understanding of the information technologies such as emails or Skype that will be used for conveying information. Finally, it is anticipated that continuous updates regarding the progress will lead to some changes within the project’s plan, for instance, if not enough patients sign up for the program, the team will have to adjust the number of daily calls and communicate with NHC to receive additional contact information.
Importance of Communication for BH
This communication plan is based on several assumptions, including the fact that communication is vital for the proper execution of the project. The stakeholders have to be notified about the progress made because their participation and involvement are crucial. The deliverables include documents such as project initiation presentation, project sending outline, number of patients contacted, and people who signed up for BH, as well as project progress. Viswanathan (2012) states that communication plans are necessary “to keep all the stakeholders on the same page, and bad communication could break a project or delay the delivery” (para. 1). Since any deviation from the initial plan can lead to an increase in costs and the inability to fulfill the purpose of operations, it is crucial to keep all team members up to date with the progress.
The role of the project sponsor and the importance of his or her involvement should be discussed more in-depth. Biafore (2011) argues that this stakeholder, although does not directly participate in task execution, “is involved more intimately with the project” (para. 5). The project manager can discuss specific issues or change requests necessary to proceed with BH in case some problems arise. Because the sponsor has to approve all budgetary changes, it is vital to ensure that up-to-date information regarding the progress is delivered to him or her. In this way, the project manager obtains support and maintains a trustworthy relationship with the sponsor, which contributes to the successful execution of BH.
It can be argued that every project incorporates interpersonal communications. However, the efficiency of these information transfer processes determines the success of the work outcomes. It is because a BH communications plan outlines the specific documents or meetings, people responsible for preparing and reviewing them, and frequency of distribution, which serves as a comprehensive guide for stakeholders and the leader. Therefore, the team members and project manager are aware of what kind of information they should collect and how to present it to others, illuminating the confusion. According to Shevoy (n.d.), the importance of project communications is reflected in the need to collect and distribute appropriate information to correct people, to ensure that project objectives are met. Moreover, BH is based on the need to contact patients and physicians to schedule meetings, which requires adequate cooperation between case managers and other stakeholders. Thus, one can argue that proper communications are the primary element predetermining the success of BH.
In this regard, it is necessary to understand another essential element of communication, which is connected to the over-sharing of information that is not relevant to a particular group of people. This component was briefly discussed in the previous section of this paper and is connected to group emails or meetings with all individuals, regardless of their involvement in a specific task. While it is evident that enabling effective interpersonal communication between case managers, NCH, patients, sponsors, project managers, and physicians is vital, overburdening these individuals with irrelevant facts can lead to adverse effects. Thus, it is better to set up categories of stakeholder groups using online tools such as emails or Skype to mitigate this problem.
It is assumed that all stakeholders, including patients, case managers, and sponsors, will be interested in finding out more about the BH project upon its initiation and this will be the only group meeting necessary. In addition, the application of the electronic health record system is a crucial element for communications between case managers and physicians; thus, it is anticipated that the former have sufficient knowledge of this program. Another assumption is that case managers will want to participate in group discussions and blackboard communication, which will help improve the process of contacting patients.
Overall, this paper provides an assessment of the communication plan for the BH project, which will be used to notify stakeholders about BH and update team members and project sponsors. Based on the overview of the relevant literature, it can be argued that the primary aim of this strategy is to enable dialog between the BH team members and the project manager. This aspect of project management is vital because it ensures that all stakeholders, including the sponsor, have relevant information about the progress. Table 1 presents the outline of the documents and individuals responsible for the preparation and delivery of this information.
Biafore, B. (2011). The project communication plan. Web.
Shevoy, S. (n.d). How to manage project communications? Web.
Top 10 ways to use G Suite for project management. (n.d.). Web.
Viswanathan, B. (2012). 10 best practices to effectively communicate with the project stakeholders. Web.
Ziek, P., & Dwight, J. A. (2015). Communication, dialogue and project management. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 8(4), 788–803. Web.
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