I Have to Plan My Communications Too?
Yes Virginia, you have to plan your communications, too. Well you don't have to, but if you don't, your communications will be managing you. Communication planning can be a complex process.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is my whole team physically at one site or multiple sites?
Does everyone have access to e-mail and have the same version of office products?
Is everyone in the same time zone?
Does everyone have to be at every meeting?
Should there be one big communication meeting or a series of smaller, more concise ones?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. We haven't even started talking about document formats.
In communications studies, there are generally two roles: sender and receiver. Each of these roles has 50 percent of the responsibility in the communication process. The sender must send a message in a clear manner and the receiver must receive and understand the message. If the received didn't understand the message, they must let the sender know. Likewise, the sender is responsible for ensuring the receiver at least received the message. The key then becomes whether or not the receiver understands the message. Did the sender send the right kind of message? Would the receiver like the message in a different way? These are all questions that should be asked and answered during the communications planning process.