What is a Stakeholder Communication Matrix?
A Stakeholder Communication Matrix helps you to outline and set expectations for the communication points that will take place during project processes and milestones. A communication matrix ensures that everyone who needs to be updated through a project will be.
Why your project needs a Stakeholder Communication Matrix
We often take communication for granted – especially when it comes to communications regarding internal projects. A good Stakeholder Communication Matrix will improve communication between those working on the project whilst reducing resources and making decision-making easier. Above, we claim that implementing a good stakeholder communication matrix has multiple benefits. Let’s go through those in detail.
A stakeholder communication matrix clearly outlines all expected touch points throughout a project. This makes it obvious who should be speaking to who, when and why. When all stakeholders are on the same page about what will be communicated and how often, your project will run into much less miscommunication issues.
When it’s obvious who is responsible for what touch point, whoever is working on a project can save time and resources by avoiding doubling up on communication efforts. Also, if it’s clear who is responsible for which communication milestone, it makes it much easier to address issues as they pop up.
Quicker and easier decision making
Again, having clear expectations outlined about who is responsible for what, it makes it 100% clear which stakeholder is meant to make a decision depending on the milestone you’ve arrived at. This makes decision making much faster. As for ease – it’s a lot easier to make a decision when you have all the information you need to make that decision. A clear communications matrix lends itself to that; everyone is kept in the loop in an organised way.
Who are the Stakeholders of Communication?
Stakeholders are those people who play a part in the success of your project or company. They include external clients as well as employees and shareholders.
You know a stakeholder should be included in your communications matrix if they hold responsibility for any aspect of the project, if they have requirements that shape the project, or if they are affected by any step or milestone.
Having an effective stakeholder communication matrix ensures that the relevant stakeholders are informed throughout a project, and that there are lines of communication for them to make clear their requirements.
A project depends on effective communication between stakeholders in order to reach success. Stakeholders need to understand your project’s goals, who is involved, what to expect and the requirements for every task.
Think of it this way: your project’s a ship and you’re going to set sail. Your stakeholders are the crew; everyone needs to know who is responsible for what, and of course – where you’re all headed.
Stakeholder communication matrixes also help you avoid common derailing interruptions, such as when a non-identified stakeholder enters a project halfway through with new requirements – throwing everyone a bit off course.
Be prepared ahead of time, know your crew, and know your destination.
How to create a Stakeholder Communication Matrix
Key things you should include in your stakeholder communication matrix.
Project milestones and touch points
- Status updates
- Touch points for communicating project deliverables
- Project milestones (e.g. completed project plan, minimum-viable-product completed)
Method of communication for the above
- Status update meetings (in office)
- Planning sessions (online)
- Work In Progress catch up calls
Specifying stakeholder attendees for each touch point
- Which stakeholders should attend status updates?
- Who are the stakeholders that need to know when a specific deliverable has been achieved?
Requirements and expectations for communications
- Your stakeholder’s requirements for how often, and by what method, they want to find out about updates that affect them
- How often will the communications take place?
- Who can expect to receive what type of communication?
And this is just a start of what you might outline in detail in your stakeholder communication matrix. In a nutshell, your matrix needs to answer the following questions:
WHO? Which stakeholders are going to be communicated to
WHAT? What are you going to communicate to them?
WHEN? When and how often will you communicate with stakeholders?
HOW? How will the communication take place? E.g. on-site meeting, phone call, email
Improve your Stakeholder Communication with Automation Software
Understanding how to communicate with stakeholders is an invaluable skill and is important to the overall project success. If you would like more information on how to improve your communication with stakeholders then feel free to get in touch with Swift Digital. Swift Digital works with a number of public and private sector companies – including Government organisations and Universities – to improve their communications and stakeholder management.
Do you need help communicating with stakeholders? Or want to improve your stakeholder management process. Here at Swift Digital, we provide email automation services that can help facilitate your stakeholder communications and help to improve your stakeholder relationships.
To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001.