Communications planning is the process in which the specific directives that will appear on the final communication management plan are determined. It is essential to complete this process which will ultimately determine the type of in formation that is to be communication, the team members and interested parties who are to receive said information, and the exact means in which this communication will be made to them. Communications planning can consist of making broad determinations initially (for example, part of the early broad strokes of the process may involve determining what kind of information needs to be conveyed to the team), and then as the plan unfolds it can become more specific (such as, after the type of information is determined, then determining exactly how often this information is to be disseminated and by what means or method that should take place. As with most planning elements, the communications planning process should take place on the commencement of a project if at all possible.
This term is defined in the 3rd edition of the PMBOK but not in the 4th.