Project Communications Framework (PCF)

A Project Communications Framework is a framework for discovering and delivering a design within a specified objective, scope, and timeframe. Within the timeframe are scheduled activities that ensure questions and assumptions become minimal during the delivery.

The Elements

  • Objective
  • Scope
  • Timeframe (maximum of two weeks)

The Activities

  1. Kick-off
  2. Alignments
  3. Design
  4. Presentation
  5. Wrap-up

The Values

  • Commit to a Schedule
  • Align Early and Often
    • Clarify
    • Solidify
  • Work Outbounds
    • Reach Out
    • Find Out

Design Is Communication

Our job as designers—both in the discovery and delivery stages—is all about communication.

Internally, during discovery, aligning early and often with leads, stakeholders, and users is invaluable in clarifying questions and assumptions that we have at the drawing table. New information that we could gather can be used to ensure that we are on the right track in designing with the objective.

Externally, during delivery and towards the product being in the hands of users, effective communication is one of the goals of the design.

Clarifying many assumptions and questions will solidify the base that our design is standing on. At this point that we could optimally continue our design work—when we are confident on our design decisions.

In some work environments, the balance between inbound and outbound communication is good. However, in work environments that are fast-paced, the open door policy invites outbound communication. Translated to designers, this means that we have to reach out to counterparts, point persons, and key people and find out about new information on the subject at hand. This proactive approach is one of the easiest ways to design quickly yet surely.

Presentation Components

  • Header
    • Project Name
    • Description
    • Purpose / Objective / Problem Statement
  • Main
    • Overview – the problem space, the solution
    • Research, and Ideation – the process in which the problem and solution were explored
    • Use Cases with Visuals – high level (big picture), low level (small picture)
    • Conclusion / Findings – evaluation of the designer in regards to the project as a whole
    • What’s Next? – to-dos for this project and overview of the next project
  • Footer
    • Deliverables – links to the project folder and deck
    • Team – name and email of designers, leads, stakeholders

Example of Activities within a Timeframe

Week One

  • Kick-off
  • Alignment
  • Design

Week Two

  • Alignment
  • Design
  • Presentation
  • Wrap-up

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