The 411

June 19-20, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$750 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

David Kardish

David Kardish

David Kardish, APR, is a founding partner and current President of the Centre for Excellence in Communications.

read bio


"A great opportunity to discuss our existing challenges in the kind of work we do and learn about the ways to address them. Very engaging and useful material."

"My questions were answered and allowed to be asked. Material was presented with practical examples to demonstrate it."

"The way the facilitator gave the session/workshop along with his stories and the personal experiences that he shared made it interesting. I am satisfied with this workshop and it has exceeded my expectations. Thank you!"

"Handouts were excellent. Content themes were relevant to my work and, where content wasn't relevant to me specifically, the facilitator was able to flex to meet needs and answer questions."

"I am able to take a lot of this info back to my job and use it to be more effective."

"The practical examples, the discussions and the delivery from the presenter of the information - it was fantastic! Exceeded my expectations. David was a wonderful and engaging presenter."


NOTE: The workshop content described below will be delivered through ZOOM ONLINE on two consecutive half-day sessions. Agendas and other relevant workshop documentation will be sent to you by the workshop instructor at least three days prior to the date of the first session.


Project management skills are essential for public sector professionals. Research shows that “communication takes up 90% of a project manager’s time” in long-term project management. Effective communication is a pre-requisite for successful project management. Results-focused communication helps to launch a project’s management on its track for desired success. Managing a project in a time-pressed and resource-constrained environment is challenging enough. Pressures are greater since quality and effectiveness of communication represent added, serious challenges. Further, in project management communication is not sufficient; effective relationship-building is essential (as most projects are run with team-based structures). A project manager plays the most natural role of building up and maintaining relationship with a network of people, both inside and outside the organization.

Communication and human interaction then make or break a project. Project communications involve specific behaviour and techniques used to motivate, lead, delegate, and report back to all stakeholders. Communication affects project performance. Therefore, to ensure high-performance project teams and results, effective communication needs to be entrenched in the overall plan. An effective communication plan will facilitate team development, help project development, and resolving critical issues, and make it easier to keep stakeholders informed.


After completing the workshop you should be able to:


Participants are requested to prepare a summary of a project they have worked on in the past (change all recognizable details). The purpose of this preparation is to identify:

During the workshop, participants will be able to refer to their summaries and provide input into group discussions, group exercises, and the inter-active process of learning.



8:45 - 9:00 Introductions and Workshop Overview
9:00 - 9:15 Project Management in the Public Sector Context
  • Accountability
  • Approval process (internal and external)
  • Budgetary issues
  • Treasury Board requirements relating to project management
  • Public Service Communications Policy document
  • Other matters
9:15 - 9:45 Communication in Project Management - From Start to Finish - More than a Sum of its Parts

Review of a project’s key steps and the integral part communication plays:
  • Defining a project’s purpose and scope;
  • Identifying what needs to be accomplished and why;
  • Knowing the project’s audience and involving stakeholders;
  • Developing a strategic plan (how to reach the stated goal);
  • Establishing time line and target dates from start to finish;
  • Identifying what resources (people, budget and other resources) are needed and by when;
  • Matching resources to objectives, responsibilities and tasks;
  • Clarifying team members’ roles and responsibilities;
  • Starting the project team on the right track;
  • Tracking progress and sustaining pace;
  • Keeping everyone informed;
  • Motivating and facilitating peak performance;
  • Presenting deliverables to the stakeholders on time;
  • Being prepared to answer anticipated and “what if” questions;
  • Bringing the project to closure;
  • Evaluating the project’s outcome against goals and objective.
9:45 - 10:00 Break
10:00 - 10:30 Communication in Project Management Cont’d

The pivotal role of communication in project management via analysis of a public sector project with a focus on key success areas:
  • Collecting, distributing and storing project information;
  • Generating the right level of information;
  • Communicating project information is a timely manner.
10:30 - 11:00 Group Exercise

Participants in small groups will choose a project from their pre-workshop preparation and:
  • Identify three key steps in project management critical to the project’s success;
  • Identify three key steps that would require communication, the need(s) for this communication and the recipient(s) of this information;
  • Recommend the most effective mode of communication, and justify the choice of the communications mode.
Each group will present its results followed by an interactive discussion and instructor feedback with particular focus on start to finish communications in the context of project and program management.
11:00 - 12:00 Planning to Communicate Strategically for Project Management Success
  • Overview of communications planning (inputs to the communication plan including: environmental/contextual factors; project scope statement; organizational “process assets” such as policies, guidelines, forms, life cycle models, templates etc; project management plan…)
  • Integrating the communications management process pyramid
  • Identifying communications needs for audiences/stakeholders
  • Collecting and retrieving information
  • Ascertaining communications models, tools, techniques and technology needed for communications planning
  • Anticipating communications problems and challenges
  • Project communication reliability – using a matrix
  • Drawing on “best practices” related to project communications
12:00 - 13:00 Break
13:00 - 13:45 Planning to Communicate Strategically Cont’d
  • Remaining informed and keeping everyone informed - “Customers” Relationship Management” and sustaining project management relationships
  • Senior decision-makers
  • “Stakeholders”
  • Group members
  • Regional Offices (if applicable)
  • Professional support providers
  • Others as needed
Mini Exercise
  • Participants will undertake a role play/simulation as project consultants and clients
13:45 - 14:30 Project Success with Communication: Clarification of Roles and Responsibilities
  • Roles and Responsibilities – within and outside of the project group
  • Interdependence between project group and others
  • Communication with professionals (e.g., IT, Finance, Media experts…)
  • Enlisting and sustaining support from professionals
  • Being prepared to deal with contentious project issues
Discussion will include participant’s input based on pre-workshop preparation (project summaries).
14:30 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 16:15

Developing a Communication Plan for a Project/Program

Participants in two groups will work on developing a communication plan for a public sector project based on supplied scenarios. Each group will choose a spokesperson to report back to the plenary who will:

  • provide an overview of the group’s plan (“a track to run on”);
  • identify and describe the three elements of the plan most critical to the project’s success
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up and Evaluation
  • Participants will complete a short evaluation