Building an Effective Communication Strategy for Your PMO (Programme/Project Management Office)
Technology is sometimes only as good as the principles that govern its application. Any one who has ever had to suffer through excessive use of the “reply all” email function at their organisation immediately understands that deciding what to communicate to whom, at what level of detail and at which point in the process can be a puzzle for the PMO. It helps to have an overarching communication strategy running with clear deliverables and focused messaging.
When it comes to breaking down the messaging for the relevant audiences, it’s often worthwhile to look at some of the more traditional strategic management tools. As an example, the balanced scorecard was originally designed to look at performance management and strategy implementation. The communication elements of these tools are as relevant for project delivery as they are for generating buy-in to changes in strategy.
The balanced scorecard segments a strategy into what it means for key groups within the business, traditionally from an investor, financial, process and people development perspective. At KeyedIn Solutions, we broaden this out into a seven-step model which breaks down objectives into deliverables—following this process, you can also break down project objectives into relevant, easily understood, and focused communications.
The language used is also important. Different audiences need the information expressed in different ways. The seven-step process allows you to define the message, the language and the nuances for communicating the vision and reasons to the wider business.
This ensures better buy-in from the outset because people understand why the project is worthwhile; you get to share the goals and values that your project will deliver. By ensuring that everyone understands the rules of the game, you get the opportunity to cheerlead the wider business into positively supporting and encouraging the project team to deliver something recognized by the organisation as valuable. .
Alongside the continual reinforcement of why the business is doing this, you need to constantly inform the project community of any improvements, delivery successes and issues which have been resolved. This is all about transparency—building trust and buy-in to the project, as well as driving the continual improvement of project management processes.
To do this you need to have a very clear understanding of the status of all of the key project deliverables. You will need to demonstrate that you are utilising the resources allocated to the project effectively and that the impact on the business is within the tolerances agreed at the outset. You also need to show that your cash burn is in line with achieved deliveries and that the overall quality of what has been delivered is as expected.
All of this builds to a compelling and positive communication strategy, tailored to the relevant audiences and providing all with the clarity, comfort and visibility they need to stay engaged and confident.
Learn more about how effective communication brings more value to all your projects. Download our free Communication – A Key Driver for Project Success white paper to see how your organisation can improve project communication and team collaboration.