Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm A Change Manager... But Do Not Ask Me To Change. Part 3 in a 3 Part Series: Duck Hunt

Communication is key, but we have all heard that before. That in its self is not news. But the element that I see missing from many change initiatives is the plan. So maybe it should be "Communication planning is key." If you are trying to create change in the organization and you do not have a communication plan then your communication may be ad hoc and ineffective.
It would be much like going on a duck hunt with a rifle. You would make a lot of noise but the chances of success are unnecessarily low. You need a distributed plan that like a shotgun blast approaches the problem in multiple ways and increases the chances of success.
If you completed the FMEA of your project  (from the last blog) and you have your list of ways the project could fail and the causes associated with those failures then many of those can be addressed in your communication plan.
The plan should include the following things:
  • Items to be communicated (Goal of communication element)
  • Audience (Who needs to hear or see the message?)
  • Time frame and number of iterations (When does it get sent?)
  • Media (How does it get sent?)
  • Person responsible to create (Who?)
  • Person responsible to deliver (Who?)
The other key thing to think about when developing your communication plan is striking the right balance of broadcast and two way dialogue around the messages. Two way is the most effective form of communication, however it is not always efficient. Email blast to the complete population is very efficient but not very effective. You have to find a balance of both.
In the end you need to think about the messages and the points you want to communicate and then craft a plan that has repetition of the message in multiple medias for extended periods of time to ensure the highest level of penetration and understanding.
Happy Hunting!

1 comment:

  1. Iti is nice to see communications concerns being proactively discussed and tackled in this post. We need to move beyond repeating cliches to actual implementation of communication management processes. Thanks for addressing this important issue.