Tell It Like It Is–Communicating throughout Your BI Project

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Every project, from the smallest purchase of pencils to the largest long-term, complex, mission critical project, will benefit from effective communication.  And with today’s communications options, there is no excuse for team members or stakeholders to be uninformed.

Performing a communications analysis and creating a plan for your communications is a must before starting any project. For a small project, this is probably done mentally—who needs to know I am doing this?  Who might put in duplicate effort if they don’t know I am working on it?  But for a larger project, a written communications plan will direct your communications efforts and keep you on track.  You need to think about who needs to be informed of your project and its progress, how will they be informed, how often.  What do they care about?  What do they need to know?  And how will you tell them?

Who? What? When?
Before the team members actually start working on your project, a kick-off meeting is a must.  This will generate interest in your project and lay the groundwork for future cooperation. During your on-going implementation, you’ll need to communicate with a number of different groups of interested parties via appropriate channels.  You may have weekly status reports for stakeholders to share progress and set expectations.  You might need weekly team meeting for those who are actively working on the projects to track progress, work out issues, and assign tasks.  You’ll want to have periodic meetings with the project sponsors, focus groups and demos for end users, and presentations to special interest groups within and outside of your organization.

When you are ready to release your project, consider a celebratory project release meeting for the masses to get buy-in and deliver your project’s deliverables—documentation, training schedules, and other information.  And don’t skip the post project review meeting.  Not only will you summarize what went right, what went wrong, how to do it better, etc., you very well may find something important that was missed or should be added to the finished product.

How?
The options are limited only to your creativity and resources.  For some communications, a face-to-face meeting is the only way.  Some communications will be written.  You can use teleconferencing, email, an internal website, a blog, an online conference room, YouTube, whatever medium makes your message clear and allows attendees to provide feedback.  Be sure to verify that people actually attended your web demos or read your document, or visited your webpage.  Inform and confirm.

So when you are looking for a business intelligence software solution, keep in mind that, as spectacular as the BIO software is, when you choose BIO, you are getting much more than a business intelligence software package or a reporting and analysis system.  BIO’s consultants are professional project managers and they understand the value of communications.  Whether you plan a weekly conference call or a daily blog post, BIO consultants will keep you informed and participate in the communications process as appropriate.

Here is a link to a free PMI Communication Plan template.

Join BIO for a free webinar to see BIO business intelligence in action and talk to us about your business intelligence consulting needs.  And please contact me at 203.705.4648 or by email at sandi@bio4analytics.com if you have any questions about BIO or business intelligence in general.

By Sandi Richards Forman of BIO Analytics, Corp., Microsoft Dynamics Business Intelligence (BI) Solution Provider

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