In previous topics, we spoke about the need to distribute information across an organization in order to ensure alignment and transparency. Communication is thus the act of distributing this information in an effective way and is critical to ensuring that your team stays informed, aligned and comfortable as you aim to sustain your improvement efforts.
Whether you have investors seeking information on your performance, or whether you have a team involving themselves in a project or initiative with forecasted results, there will always be stakeholders with expectations to manage. Without effective communication between management and these role players expectations will be left to run wild, quickly diverging from the performance of the project. It is key to maintain regular and effective communication channels in these instances in order to ensure alignment of expectations.
Stakeholders, especially those lower down the command chain executing the specific project or initiative, will be your most vital source of information about the actual state of the initiative. There will almost always be occurrences and progressions which are not visible from a managerial position and it is critical that these stakeholders know that they have a mechanism for providing feedback. Without this communication, management will continue to make decisions based on unrealistic expectations.
Communication holds value in an array of daily practices. The very act of managing stakeholders, whether at the investor or operational level, is dependent on the strength of the available communication channels.
Feedback loops from both staff and clients are critical to the continual improvement process. Here, communication is the glue that holds these loops together. You may have launched a new product or service and expect to receive feedback through sales data. However, true client impressions and opinions can be garnered through the establishment of a simple feedback form. Likewise, your team putting the offering to market may have had first-hand experience of the client experience. This can be vital for product development but without communication, there is almost no chance of capturing this data,
Communication is well covered by our playbook material. Have you considered where your current CI process may be lacking? Perhaps it's communication?