Has your relationship with the business unit become cold and distant, characterized by fleeting exchanges such as upgrade announcements, outage alerts, and security notifications? If so, maybe you should consider trying a communication style that looks forward to an ideal future. As Keith Faigin writing for TechRepublic counsels, IT outfits sometimes have trouble communicating with businesses and can greatly benefit from adopting a multifunctional communication plan. He offers four approaches to rekindle that old spark with the business end:
1. Keep In Touch: Start by staying in touch through the usual exchange. Keep the business up to date on important events through announcements, alerts, and notifications.
2. Relate your Efforts: Let the business know how much you care by publicizing your efforts. This will make it easier to influence the direction of the relationship (i.e. to move more capital in the direction of IT).
3. Be Transparent: Don’t be coy – justify your actions (and your costs) by being upfront and honest about what your outfit is doing with the business’s money.
4. Commit to the Long Haul: The best relationships are complex and long-term, where a transformation occurs over the course of many projects, and real ROI is kindled after time and effort. Remind your business partner about what matters most in the relationship – the long-term gains.
The Glue of Communication
Faigin asserts that good IT communication needs to be both reactive and proactive in the relationship:
1). Reactive communications are event-based — those just-in-time notifications and things like alerting stakeholders when a project hits a significant milestone.
2). Proactive communications are sent out on a regular schedule. They include messages such as uptime reports, service desk recaps, the IT roadmap, and user tips and advice. These communications should be scheduled on a staggered basis…
Lastly, substance is the hallmark of any good relationship between two organizations. Be informative and be brief. Like a website or a marketing effort, your style must be intuitive and clean if you wish to be on good terms with your business partner.