Are you prepared to communicate your findings? You’ve proud of what has been accomplished. There are visuals and relevant data to comprehend the process. Your process flow is complete and has been verified. You’ve have measured performance. Operations has been interviewed and you have insight that compliments that measured performance. You have analysis that shows the way to a solution. You’re confident that you can deploy. You’re ready to share your findings. How do you prepare? Is it a data dump? Are you ready for two way conversation: double loop learning? This is a critical junction in your project lifecycle. As they say, “the proof is in the pudding” and you’re about to reveal it.
How you communicate is as important as addressing those process improvements. Skilled practitioners can tell you that they may have fallen into a common trap. They treat every conversation with a common theme of diving deeply into data. That may satisfy some people but not everyone. Consider every conversation as an opportunity and by all means know your audience.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Tailor the discussion to your audience. Be detailed for those people who like details and present summary information for those who prefer a discussion of your progress. While senior managers like the bottom line, engineers may like detail, i.e. “the math”.
2. Keep your discussions focused on the goal and scope of your work. Be specific and clear on both your information as well as how it enables the business. Make the discussion in business terms.
3. Communicate often. Sharing information can be formal or ad-hoc. Sometimes a quick hallway conversation is just as effective. Respect people time.
4. Develop your team to share results. They own the progress. Have them seen as architects of change.
5. Be available. Be ready when asked questions on the fly, factually. If you can’t answer the question make time to get back to them, and do so.
6. Make part of every team meeting a discussion focused on communications. Agree on the message. Don’t let disagreement become the reason you don’t communicate. Many times that disagreement may be a spark of creativity. Leverage it.
Developing a good communications plan builds confidence with your customers and your team. It gives a sense of pride in a job well done. It creates an atmosphere of continuous improvement. It creates community.
Please let me know how Lean2 Business Consulting may be of service to your organization.