Let’s say you’re planning to repaint your living room this weekend. You shop for supplies online: drop cloths, painter’s tape, and brushes. Alexa, innocently, puts scrub brushes in your cart instead of paint brushes. The delivery arrives the next day. Do you have the tools you need to get the job done? The scrub brush has a handle and bristles! The bristles can be dipped into the paint! Will it require more work to create the desired outcome with a scrub brush rather than a paint brush? My guess is, no matter what, it’s not going to be pretty.
It’s not that the scrub brush is a bad product. On the contrary,
it’s probably the highest rated scrub brush on the web. The issue is that you
need a paint brush specifically designed to apply paint evenly and precisely.
You need the right tool for the job.
Flash forward to the work week: How often are we using the
wrong tool for a job?
When I was a Girl Scout, I learned how to succeed in organization-wide digital transformations. (Everyone got that IT leadership badge, right?!)
We were taught to:
Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other’s gold.
This universal advice applies now as we “scout” in the digital age. It’s important to value the old strategies for success—the fundamentals that kept your organization alive before its digital transformation—while seeking out new ones to apply in the current industry climate.
Many organizations try to fight against project failure by adding budget, resources, or time to the baseline. However, throwing money at the situation often leads to wasted efforts and more frustration, if the root problem isn’t addressed. Failure itself isn’t necessarily something to resist (see our thoughts on failing fast). However, pulling the plug on a major project can be easier said than done. Internal politics or other factors may limit the team’s ability to admit failure and cancel an initiative.
When your project is destined to fail, but abandoning ship is not an option, a brief pause and shift can allow you to turn things around before you completely blow the budget.
When hiring new team members, most interviewers discreetly study applicants to see if they would pass The Airport Test: “Could I get stuck in an airport for 8 hours with this person and not lose my mind?!” We recently took this idea to an entirely new level.
Communication plans for an IT project might come off as overkill, or even remind you of a nagging parent’s chore chart. In fact, the two organizational methods do have something in common: they tackle and alleviate misalignment. However, unlike helicopter parents, a strong IT project communication plan empowers workers and frees up their time. In an age where 1 in 5 projects are unsuccessful due to ineffective communication, taking the time to plan out and manage communication is crucial.
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A successful communication plan ensures that:
- expectations are aligned across the organization;
- project managers have the information they need to guide the project; and
- purposeless meetings are eliminated so that everyone’s time is optimized.
To get started with your Project Management Communication Plan—and increase the chance of project success—make sure you’re prepared to perform the following 6 tasks.