Communication Management Processes


Project Workflow Management


By Dan Epstein

New York, USA


 This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step project workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client. This article is the next part in the series Project Workflow Management.

The project workflow framework is the result of Dan’s research into the subject, having the following objectives:

  1. Create the virtually error-free project management environment to ensure significant reduction of project costs
    2. Reduce demands for highly qualified project managers using
    the step-by-step workflow guiding approach.

While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the Communication Management group of processes as a stand-alone group of processes that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article not to venture into processes outside of the current topics, such as planning, quality, risk and other management processes, so they will be just mentioned. However, to get full benefit and the error free project management environment, the complete implementation of PM Workflow® is required. In order to understand how PM Workflow® ensures this environment, I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment in the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com at (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment)

The article above provides the overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework works and achieves the established objectives.

For more information, please visit my website www.pm-workflow.com.



The purpose of Communications Management is to define methods of communication between project team members in delivery, subcontractor and business organizations in order to generate and exchange project related information and to facilitate understanding between the sender of information and the receiver.

The Communications Management process is a tool for the proper identification of stakeholders, developing project reporting and templates for different types of project communications as well as scheduling effective communications to all stakeholders.

Communication Channels

Poor project communication greatly contributes to project failure, because it becomes impossible to resolve differences in expectations between the delivery team and stakeholders. In fact, ineffective communications may easily cause differences in expectations between the delivery team and its external stakeholders.  The main reason for poor communication is insufficient time management, when team members are busy and other priorities do not (apparently) allow communication in a timely manner.  In fact, communications should be given high priority – it is often its absence which has caused the conflicting issues to arise in the first place. Other contributors to poor communications include cultural differences, time zone challenges, and in some cases, the pure volume and intensity of the information that must be exchanged.

During the course of the project the project managers spend much of their time communicating with a client, management, team members, suppliers, subject matter experts, and so on. Delivery team members must communicate between themselves. Support personnel must communicate with team members and clients. Everybody may have to communicate with everybody else, but in large project teams it is almost impossible for the PM to pay enough attention to everybody and their diverse needs for differing information at different times.  So, it is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of the communications channels that convey the most important project information.

There is a formula for calculating communication channels and links: N*(N-1)/2, where N is a number of people involved in communication. Thus, in a team of 5 members there are 5*(5-1))/2=10 two-way communication channels. In a team of 10 there are 45 channels and in a team of 23 there are 253 communication channels.  You can see that the number of channels goes up exponentially with the number of members.  This may prove to be unmanageable communication between all team members. The often-used technique to resolve this problem is to split large teams into manageable groups, having each Team Lead serve as a focal point for all communications outside that group. For example, if a team of 23 is split into three groups, having a project manager and three Team Leads with eight team members in two groups and seven members in the third group, then there are 6 communication channels between project manager and three Team Leads, plus 28*2+21 communication channels in each team, making a total of 28*2+21+6=83 communication channels. This is significantly less than 253 channels for the same number of team members shown earlier.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.

How to cite this paper: Epstein, D. (2018).  Communication Management Processes, Series on Project Workflow Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue IX – September.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Epstein-communication-management-processes-article.pdf

About the Author

Dan Epstein

New York, USA




Dan Epstein combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several softwae engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multi-threaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/