“If we make changes to our practices, then we improve practice performance, but if we don’t communicate properly, we won’t gather the expected results.”
The Communication Plan needs to be a repeatable, maintainable, and defendable document which is used as a bases of change communications. The plan is intended for internal team members, stakeholders, and potential customers who might be impacted by the proposed changes.
A member of the steering committee may provide oversight to this objective. Various members of the performance improvement team will participate in updating messages. But a single person should be assigned as the owner.
It’s the owner’s responsibility to assure that each message is current, and that the correct personas are targeted. Before describing the specifics of the communication plan, I want to clarify confusion between the communication plan and the adoption plan. It is in the communication plan that targeted persona are identified, and specific messaging is defined to accomplish specific adoption hurdles. The adoption plan is used to take given messages, and define activities as communication channels to carry the message.
The first column of a communication plan must specify who the message is for. There are many methods for this but typically the persona is used. You want to keep this simple with 2-3 personas unless you have a large department doing this to last more than a year. Otherwise, it’s just too much work.
Now, there are eight adoption hurdles. Addressing them all gets the changes adopted, but its time consuming and expensive. Not addressing enough spell failure. There is an optimal balance depending on the importance of the change and persona.
Examples of persona might include Process Sponsor, Project Manager, Task Worker, and Client. Remember only to include the ones that will be directly impacted. And then, each will have different sets of adoption hurdles addressed.
The eight adoption hurdles are:
- Access to new practice concepts
- Safe place to experiment with new concepts
- Ability to share stories about new concept experiences
- Recognized proficiency in using new concepts
- Finding new applications for new concepts
- Finding a business purpose for this new concept application
- Proto type and test new application of concept
- Legitimize new application of concept
So, within the communication plan, we want to identify which personas will require which hurdles to be addressed.
For each hurdle selected, we will want to develop a message helping a persona overcome that hurdle. This message being created is not the finished message, but is more of an information framework that can be spun into many messages for different activities of communication channels.
The message framework provides information to the following fields:
First logical step from current situation toward second step in overcoming hurdle.:
Second logical step from first step toward third step in overcoming hurdle.:
Third and final step from second step and overcoming hurdle:
Benefit of overcoming hurdle:
Value in the benefit of overcoming the hurdle.
Solution vision of persona overcoming the hurdle.
With this information provided, messages are constructed in various forms to help the persona overcome the hurdles, and adopt the process change.