5 Ways for CIOs to Combat the Communications Crisis

You may question whether there is a legitimate “crisis” in IT communications. However, consider these following tips from CIO UK, and you won’t regret it.

5 Communication Tips

  1. Identify your stakeholders.
  2. Replace “alignment” with “convergence.”
  3. Abandon obfuscation.
  4. Use metrics to drive the conversation.
  5. Outsource IT communication.

Stakeholders are an unwieldy bunch. Oftentimes, they skip out in the midst of a project. But, as a CIO, they are your mission (should you choose to accept it). As finicky and unwieldy as they are, you’ve got to stay engaged with their needs.

And what about alignment? Eight years ago, claims of being misaligned were leveled against CIOs and their IT outfits, but now people are starting to make the obvious realization that IT too is the business. A better term then than alignment would be convergence.

Obfuscation, it’s one of those words that embodies the very meaning it points to, and IT still does a lot of it. Simplifying speech and ditching the acronyms offers the business some much needed transparency. You might try mapping productivity or other creative communication solutions. Fourth, metrics are not exactly a communication barrier, unless you consider how they are used. IT departments would therefore be well advised to create customized scorecards, or to otherwise present their quantitative findings to the business in a digestible manner.

Lastly, if you’ve got a lot to communicate and your IT department’s not the place to do it, consider hiring a communications expert to tell your story for you:

Treat communications, if you don’t have the skills, in the same way as you would specialist development, bring in the skills.  If an implementation can be outsourced, then surely it would be wise to consider the possibility of outsourcing IT communication as well.

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