How many times have you been involved in a project where a newly-released piece of software required an immediate enhancement because the right people were not “in the loop”? This is an example of how poor communication costs money and damages the reputation of an Information Technology (IT) Team.
Well-managed communication can increase the rates of success on your IT projects by improving relations between you and your customers and decreasing the odds of hasty last-minute enhancements, thus saving face, saving time, and saving money.
Most developers are familiar with technical writers, who produce documentation. While these writers are important to your project, they do not typically handle communication. That requires a person well-versed in communication planning and execution: the communication specialist.
A communication specialist will:
- determine your communication objectives (educate?, gather specifications?, change behavior?)
- identify the people who have and need information about your project,
- identify the best way of reaching these people,
- and build a list of key messages.
The communication can occur through many channels, such as focus groups, face-to-face meetings, status reports, newsletters, email messages, web sites, PowerPoint presentations, or phone hotlines. Communication can also be executed in less formal ways, such as establishing mail lists and selectively copying the appropriate people on relevant email.
The communication specialist brings all this together in a communication plan.
Then the communication specialist will execute each communication, according to the established timeline. And of course, he or she will adjust the communication plan as the project evolves.
Well-planned and managed communication is crucial to how your organization is perceived and it will have a direct impact on your project. Adding a communication specialist to your next IT project will increase your odds of success.