Communicating Planning Objectives

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    You have been given the task of setting up a plan to make sudden changes to, e.g., processes. How do you let people know and how do you communicate planning objectives that you have developed. What do you do first? What if there is resistance?

    First Steps

    • Communicate with and set up meetings in order to interact with those instigating the changes, e.g., directors, partners, consultants, users, etc.
    • Ask questions to obtain knowledge about the subject matter and to obtain requirements about the task before the undertaking.
    • Gather all the basic information you need through meetings and encounters.
    • Once the necessary knowledge is gathered, meet again to reassess the objective.

    After gathering all the necessary information, it’s now time to interact with the people affected by the changes.

    Second Steps

    • Define the goal and scope of the project; state the case.
    • When communicating with users or anyone affected by the changes, be clear about what is needed, the why and specify what modifications, transformations, or adjustments will be forthcoming.
    • Create and maintain ongoing status meetings. Inform attendees that there will be further meetings to share information, to hear any concerns, and to see if everything is on track.
    • Remain organized by creating a short but concise document, like an Action Plan to share.

    Communicating Planning Objectives

    • Within an Action Plan, include its purpose with a summary and explain and clarify the details; be accurate and precise.
    • Ensure you involve all developers and stakeholders.
    • State the proposal, strategy, and design of the plan.
    • Describe what exists, what is needed, and the goals.
    • In particular, ensure you have noted the necessary personnel as well as the budget.

    Handling Resistance

    • Identify with those affected by the changes and acknowledge their fears and questions and make sure they understand why a new process is necessary. Justify the action required by explaining how this task came about. Explain what analysis was done and the negative effects if the task is not completed.
    • Get management to support you and your task.
    • Be aware of how those that are unsure perceive you. Be complimentary, cooperative, and transparent in your communication. This will generate and/or improve collaboration. Show them you respect them for their knowledge and questions, and that you will take their concerns into consideration and will get back to them at either the next meeting or as soon as possible.

    Next Steps

    • Set up a project plan with critical paths and milestones. Benefits of this allows for keeping the project on track, as well as anticipating and preparing for any possible incidents.
    • Create a short-term plan as well as contingency plans for any unforeseen events.
    • Set up blocks of time for work and availability to maintain communication with others.
    • Maintain status meetings as work progresses to avoid any problems.

    If you have had experience in leading a group to complete a task, please leave a comment as to how you handled the responsibility. Thank you.