Most project charters include a communication plan, and it generally consists of who to communicate what to. What is often missing is the how, which is why many teams find themselves with endless email chains where the subject stopped reflecting the content a dozen messages down the thread.
Many enterprises offer multiple platforms, such as Slack, Teams, SharePoint, Confluence, Jira, ADO, etc. If there is a choice, determine how the team will most efficiently interact and then pick the tool that has the best features supporting those interactions. If there isn’t a choice (such as when a company may have several tools but a department only has one), be sure to keep some key communication and collaboration practices in mind as you plan its usage.
Group topics in an intuitive manner. What is intuitive generally versus only for insiders can be different. If the team membership will fluctuate frequently, opt for intuitive for someone who needs to be productive quickly with little help. Long-term teams should evolve the taxonomy over time to foster productivity.
We all get busy and skim our in box or project sites looking for what jumps out at us. Consistent formatting can help. Have predefined prefixes such as “ACTION REQUIRED:” or “No Response Necessary:” can help people see what is important and prioritize reading and responding. The range of formats can be very broad, so a full list is not appropriate here.
The best of plans do not survive the first release. The taxonomy may fall out of date. Determine the most common entry point to the team collaboration and communication platform and post and pint a Read Me that explain the purpose of the team, the organization of the platform, and who to contact for help by topic.
Often a project will have multiple channels: The project management tool, the wiki, and IM client, email (sparingly). The team should decide which channel to use for what and gently remind people who use the wrong channel where the appropriate channel is and why.
© Scott S. Nelson