Recently we’ve been closing off a few older projects and starting a few new ones, and the issue of effective communication keeps coming up. A LOT.
It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a brand new initiative or one that’s well on its way to closing – communication has a special role in all stages of a project. When teaching our Project Management course, we emphasize the need to link back in with all stakeholders and share the results and intended next steps BEFORE closing a project. With new projects, it’s important to ease people into a project and let them know that you are there to help.
In fact, we always stress the need to engage employees throughout a project or process improvement exercise, and it has to be consistent.
Have you ever heard members of your organization say:
“Well I never heard about that, when is that happening?”
“As usual, they didn’t bother to keep us in the loop.”
“They never ask for our feedback, but we’re the ones that do the work!”
If so, then you may have some disengaged employees that just want communication
And there are three simple steps to get there…
3 Steps to Effectively Communicate Your Process Improvement Initiative
When you want to plan a communication, consider the following:
Timing is key. If you communicate too early (before solidifying your ideas and establishing what to say and how to say it) you might confuse your audience. If you communicate too late, your new idea has a high risk of falling apart. (People won’t know what’s happening, and thus no actions will take hold.) Plan ahead. Create a communication plan.
What are your key messages? You need to tell the ‘story’ to your audience. Clearly outline the setting, characters, event, climax, and ending (read more on telling a business story here .)
Everyone is different. Consider your audience. Are they visual learners (i.e. they absorb information best with face to face presentations (body language), illustrations, videos, graphs, etc)? Are they auditory learners (i.e. they are absorb information best through talking and discussions- face to face is not required)? Are they verbal learners (i.e. they think in words rather than pictures – eMails work well with this group)? In all likelihood you will have a mix, so craft your communications plan so it addresses all three.
Until next week!