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Communication Planning

Why Communicate?

The answer to this question should provide the business result or value to be achieved in the discussion.

Usually the statement of Purpose answers the question “why?’

Why would I spend my time?

Why would the customer/stakeholder pay for this work to be done?

If everyone involved does not see value for the customer & themselves in achieving the meeting’s goals, success will be more elusive.

Consider different values & experiences; remember every one first asks: “What’s In It For Me?”


What is the Result?

What does “done” look like? What are the tangible (& intangible) results that should result? This helps let everyone know when you’re done.

Be specific:

  • Action list
  • Decisions made
  • Status report/discussion
  • Investigation findings & recommendations
  • Corrective action for “learning opportunities”

Include the “feeling” that the attendees experience & leave with:

  • I am “heard” & listened to
  • The work is moving forward
  • I have learned valuable information
  • I have participated & contributed.
  • I own specific actions & results.

Sometimes a good way to define “what is” is to be clear about “what is not”.

After you have clearly defined what the products are, go back & check that they provide the value that is needed in the Purpose. Are the Products worth all the effort?

How to Communicate Effectively

How do we achieve the products?

Are the right people, tools, and information available?

Is there more work than time available?

How to split the work & still have interest in the total effort?

Consider the Levels of Communication as you plan to conduct the interaction.  Very often the communications breakdown happens here: the concept is for a 2-way communication but the execution is all one-sided.

The levels of communication are the subject of a separate full post.

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