– a success factor?
When working in big projects, communication is often a planned activity. There is usually a professional communicator or change manager responsible for the communication plans, internally in the project and to stakeholders outside the project.
It is not always as organized when working with continuous change, the structured communication activity is very low and even sometimes non-existing.
Communicating about the roadmap and the changes within it, is of essence before, during and after a change to ensure that the organization is prepared for the change and its outcomes.
Working with change management, communication is the most crucial success factor so to succeed in change management you need to master communication and working consistently with this show that initiative with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objective and even by simply moving from “poor” to “fair” increases the likelihood of meeting the objectives three-fold (see Why Change Management (prosci.com)).
Detailed communication plan
– step one in structured communication
To secure a structured way to communicate, start with making a plan. Here is an example of a communication plan;
What, Who, When is hopefully self-explanatory (otherwise please reach out to me
Communication is about information being received and not to be sent. To assure that your message is received in the right way, that you inspire the correct emotion and secure intended action, use the know-do-feel model. When planning an information activity, ask yourself what you want your audience to know, do and feel after receiving the information. This is also a good tool for prioritizing the content and not overloading the audience.
The ”KNOW – DO – FEEL model”
For anyone to take action or do things differently we need to know things, with good information making decision is easy. When lacking information, we need to guess which can lead to poorer, riskier, or even no decision.
When your audience knows, the next step is for them to act, decide or do. It can be that they now know the goals and can take actions towards it, or they know about how a change will impact them and can take adequate actions towards it, for instance pass forward information, sign up for training etc.
When a person act that is when the change is truly executed and the gap between what we expect and what we experience make us feel satisfied, excited, or worried. The feelings determine what we do next, for instance going back to act as before or seek further knowledge to make the change stick for the future etc.
Visualization of the communication plan
Sometimes there is a need for a high-level communication plan, a visualization of the detailed plan. Here is an example for stakeholders to get a short and condensed version with time periods and communication channels in focus;
Who is responsible for the communication?
Who is then responsible? Everybody in the team is in some sense responsible for sharing information about the roadmap and future changes. For the structured communication, I would suggest that the product owner/product manager is owning and govern the plan. This since communication to the business usually opens up for a valuable dialogue and new perspectives on priorities, new ideas, concerns etc. are raised.