Sub-Process A - Communication for Project Definition

  • To establish the infrastructure for the organization's process improvement communication efforts
  • To gather background information on past communication activities and ascertain communication capabilities within the organization
  • To define and gain approval for the Communication Plan

Communication efforts should begin as soon as the process improvement project is initiated. Now is the time to establish the communication infrastructure and develop the communication strategy.

It is likely that members of the Steering Team—those who identified the need for process improvement to take place—have selected you to serve as the Communication Lead for the duration of this effort. One of your first steps is to gather background data on past communication efforts within the company. From this data, you will start to draft the Stakeholder Profile, Communication Plan, and the Core Message points to be communicated repeatedly throughout the process improvement project. You will also work with the Steering Team and Process Owner (if one has already been established) to identify and recruit Communication Team members.

Step Tool Outcome
Step 1
Communication Lead Identified

Communication Team Characteristics and Roles

Message to Communication Team Lead

Communication Lead selected and notified

Step 2
Communication Due Diligence Completed

Communication Due Diligence Guide

Information sources identified, documents collected and reviewed, and interview findings summarized

Step 3
Communication Plan and Core Message Drafted

Communication Best Practices and Guidelines

Communication Plan

Core Message

Stakeholder Communication Profile

Draft of the Communication Plan and the Core Message completed and initial review concluded by the Steering Team and Process Owner

Step 4
Communication Team Defined and Validated

Communication Team Characteristics and Roles

Message to Communication Team Members

Team Roster

Communication Team members identified, approved, and notified

Step 5
Communication Plan and Core Message Reviewed and Approved

None Applicable

Communication Plan and Core Message approved by the Steering Team, Process Owner, and Program Management Team

  • Know the culture of your organization as you complete your Communication Due Diligence. As you begin to draft messages, choose a writing style that reflects the working environment (casual vs. formal). An understanding of the organization's culture will also help you identify the best ways to communicate information to all employees and to specific pockets of the organization. For example, in a casual work environment you may choose to use the intranet primarily for message distribution, as well as informal opportunities to share information (e.g., weekly town hall meetings, posters, etc.). In a more formal culture, you may need to rely heavily on the chain of command (e.g., newsletters, memos from leadership, etc.).
  • Begin to build relationships with the leaders of the Design Team(s), Steering Team and Program Management Team. These groups will be your best sources for process knowledge and information.
  • Build a strong Communication Team. This group will be your engine for the project, and you will need the team's energy to sustain a successful communication program throughout the process improvement project.
  • Be thorough in your planning. Planning will lay the groundwork and make the communication program successful from the outset.

  • Embarking upon the communication effort for the process improvement project without having a high-level understanding of the process improvement methodology. Having an understanding of the methodology before you begin your planning effort will help you define the scope, resources, goals, and deliverables that will comprise your Communication Plan. Having a high-level understanding will also help you connect with those involved in the process improvement work.
  • Waiting too long to start communicating about the project. If you wait until all the answers are known, there will be a lot of fear and uncertainty that you will have to work hard to overcome. So, even if the project is just beginning to brew, start talking about it. Start planting the seeds about what is coming