Developing and managing a project communication plan is important for project leaders to sustain change and enable transitions in cross-functional projects. This online course describes the objectives in developing and executing a project transition communication plan for project teams and project management.
- Proper communications can go a long way toward helping people make the transitions that projects require. Let's see how to create a communications plan that will make your transitions more successful. Projects cause change and even simple changes can sometimes lead to consequences that are hard to predict or imagine. A negative reaction to someone who's affected by a change can undermine the success of a project. So let's start by looking at three ways to use communications proactively to help people make a transition.
First, communicate before the change occurs. By communicating early, you begin to leverage the perspectives of people outside of the team to help identify potential risks and issues that may not have been noticed. The feedback from your communications gives you an opportunity to find and resolve problems before they materialize. Second, communicate during the change. By communicating during the change, you help people understand what's happening and why.
Remember, no matter what the change is, people are going to have to go through a process of letting go of the old way before they get fully engaged with the new. And third, communicate after the change. Communication after the change provides reinforcement. It's usually not enough to hear a message once or twice. We often need to hear the same message seven times before it truly registers in our brains. With that in mind, here are five questions you can ask to build a transition communications plan.
A transition communication plan should begin by identifying the people who are going to be affected by the change. Who are your communications targets? Then, decide what message you wanna share. For example, what are the benefits of the change? What objections might arise and how can you counter those objections? This will help you decide what the message should be. Then you need to ask, who should the message come from? Should it come from someone on the team, someone in management, or perhaps from a peer that they can relate to.
Next, you can decide what media to use. Should you communicate this message in a letter, an email, or a meeting? Or should it be something more elaborate like a video? Finally, you need to think about when to deliver the message and how often to repeat it, before, during, and after the change. Try this for yourself. Take some time right now to think about a project that your working on and the people who will be affected buy the changes that it's creating. Then answer each of the five questions and decide what you should communicate before, during, and after the change.
Most transition communication plans identify many different stakeholders and groups of stakeholders. So naturally they end up containing a series of different messages delivered through a variety of media to different audiences. Altogether, these communications will help everyone transition through the change your project creates. Learning how to build and execute a good transition communications plan can make a huge difference in how your project is received and will help make you a better leader.
- Name who is responsible for approving the resources for the project.
- Recall what the spine of a fishbone diagram represents.
- List characteristics of the environment.
- Identify the tools used for mapping processes.
- Recognize what needs to be captured on the action item list.
- Recall what project metrics should be related to.