This chapter was interesting - and the online class I took for it was even more interesting.
One of the thing that I don't quite understand is why there exists a 'Control Communications' process. There seems to be a lot of overlap with Manage Communications - seems more complex that it needs to be. And the overlap with performance management and reporting is hard to unravel as well. From a conceptual concept maybe, but I don't think separating these two processes in actual implementation would be very productive.
I generally create a communications plan early in any project and revise it as we get into the project and understand more about the team, the technology, and the personalities involved. The more interesting subject in the learning module I used was stakeholder evaluation. Stakeholders in the PMBOK is a term used much more inclusively than I have used it in practice - in my actual experience, stakeholders not only have an interest, they have a say and typically some approval power. In the PMBOK, a stakeholder is anyone with a vested interest in your project. The learning module talked about identifying stakeholders whose vested interest is in stopping your project. Of course, in practice you end up finding those people and dealing with them, but there are actual models to identify what kind of influence and interest various stakeholders have that was really interesting to me. Looking at the PMBOK these show up in the Stakeholder chapter:
- Power-interest grid
- Power-influence grid
- Influence-impact grid
- Salience model
I'm sure I'll have more to say about these when I get to that chapter, but for now these are pretty intriguing. We all need to to understand who has what authority and vested interest in our projects, and these are really useful tools to help in that categorization.
Other than that, though, the chapter is pretty much common sense. If you can't communicate effectively, chances are your project is going to tank.