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Getting started with an IT communication plan for your IT team (fast)

Do you need an IT communication plan for your IT team or department? Yes! But you don't have to make it more exciting than it is.

Find out what a proper IT communication plan consists of and introduce our pre-crafted IT communication strategy to your IT colleagues.

IT communication plan components

To cover a solid IT communication plan, include the following components. Further on, we discuss these in more detail with examples.

1. Objectives
Setting objectives ensure a focused and aligned approach to communicating key information and goals within the IT organization.

2. Audiences
Identifying audiences is essential to tailor messages effectively, ensuring relevance and clarity for different internal employees and stakeholders.

3. Messaging
Messaging is key in an IT Communication Strategy Plan to convey consistent, clear, and concise information that resonates with and engages internal employees and stakeholders, aligning with organizational objectives.

4. Channels
To ensure the effective delivery of messages through the most appropriate and accessible mediums, it is crucial to define your channels.

5. Planning
A timeline (or calendar) is vital to provide a structured planning for communications, ensuring timely and coordinated dissemination of information within the organization.

These are the 5 basic components. You can optionally expand your planning to include definitions of responsibilities, evaluation methods and a separate crisis plan.

1. Objectives

To guide your communication efforts, it is first important to establish clear objectives. By doing so, you collectively create a clear focus as an IT team.

In case of IT, where communication is not your main focus, it is recommended to stick to one clear objective and describe it SMART. Which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For an example, check out https://howtocommunicate.tech/it-communication-strategy/#objectives

2. Audiences

To tailor your communication effectively, it is essential to identify your target audiences. This ensures relevance and clarity for different internal employees and stakeholders.

For each target group, your need to understand their needs and preferences. Less demographic, more psychological and social.

One useful method is to create personas. Through the link below you will find the elaborated personas from an IT perspective, as encountered in any organization.

https://howtocommunicate.tech/it-communication-strategy/#audience

3. Messaging

To convey consistent, clear, and concise information to your audiences, crafting messages is key. Without consistent disclosure, it is impossible to serve our target audiences.

Basically, all messaging from IT must meet the following requirements:

Clear, concise, consistent
Maintain a unified, professional communication style on behalf of your IT department. Use plain language to explain what is happening, the impact on stakeholders, and any required actions. Avoid jargon to ensure accessibility across the organization.

Targeted content
Tailor messages to the audience’s needs and interests. For example, highlight the benefits of a new system to end users, while focusing on strategic advantages and ROI for decision-makers.

Action-oriented
Clearly outline any steps the recipient needs to take, whether it’s preparing for downtime, changing passwords, or attending a training session.

To meet these requirements as IT department, you can use the interactive IT communication templates in IT Communication Assistant to craft your messages.

Check out: https://howtocommunicate.tech/it-communication-strategy/#messaging

4. Channels

To ensure the effective delivery of messages through the most appropriate and accessible mediums, you have to define your communication channels, through which you will reach your audiences.

For a core channel strategy focusing on the primarily available channels within organizations, check out the link below.

https://howtocommunicate.tech/it-communication-strategy/#channels

5. Planning

Communication planning consists of a living timeline that can be filled flexibly. In this you define when you will communicate, what (format, key message), through which channel and which roles are involved.

Learn more: https://howtocommunicate.tech/it-communication-strategy/#planning

IT landscapes change rapidly and a lot happens in an organization. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain a monthly or quarterly focus and not to plan communications too far ahead unless it is a recurring event/item or long-term project.

When planning, consider organization-wide and other teams and departments’ events. As well as the presence or availability of stakeholders.

Responsibilities

To ensure accountability and clarity on who is tasked with delivering communications to internal employees and stakeholders, you can delineate roles and responsibilities.

Below is a general approach. The actual roles and responsibilities depend heavily on the size and structure of the organization.

Roles

IT Technicians, Support Engineers, and Coördinators

Responsibilities:

  • Addressing immediate technical issues and communicating updates and solutions to internal employees. Crafting messages through your IT Communication Assistant workspace.
  • Sharing insights and common issues with IT Managers and Help / Service Desk.
  • Collaboration with Help / Service Desk and Internal Communications for organization-wide messaging.

IT Managers

Responsibilities:

  • Providing leadership in executing the IT communication plan.
  • Ensuring messaging from Technicians and Support Engineers align with broader objectives. Making IT Communication Assistant workspaces available to IT staff.
  • Collaboration with Help / Service Desk and Internal Communications for organization-wide messaging.

Help / Service Desk

Responsibilities:

  • Serving as the first point of contact for IT queries. Sending out formats in IT Communication Assistant to Technicians and Support Engineers to obtain clear messaging about a particular IT situation.
  • Coordinating with IT Managers to update on service trends and incidents for strategic planning.
  • Collaboration with Internal Communications to ensure consistent messaging across all channels.

Internal Communications

Responsibilities:

  • Disseminating organization-wide communications.
  • Ensuring clarity and consistency in messaging. Making IT Communication Assistant workspaces available to IT staff.
  • Facilitating communication channels.

This is an example, you can modify the roles and tailor them to your organization.

Evaluation

To assess the effectiveness of our communication efforts, evaluation allows room for adjustments and improvements in reaching and engaging audiences.

Below are some possible evaluation methods.

In this example, you employ a semi-annual review on the IT communication plan. Every six months, you analyze communication efforts on behalf of your IT department using feedback requests, customer satisfaction surveys and interaction data on your internal communication platforms.

Feedback requests

You solicit direct feedback from internal stakeholders through targeted inquiries to assess the clarity, responsiveness, and overall effectiveness of your IT communication efforts. This helps identify specific areas for improvement in how IT information is conveyed and addressed within the organization.

Customer satisfaction surveys

You conduct internal surveys to evaluate staff satisfaction with IT services, focusing on the accessibility, quality, and timeliness of IT support, as well as the effectiveness of communication in enabling efficient work processes. The aim is to measure satisfaction levels and pinpoint areas needing enhancements.

Interaction data on internal communication platforms

You analyze data from internal communication tools to gauge engagement levels with IT-related content. Metrics like views, comments, and usage rates of IT support channels are reviewed to determine the effectiveness of different communication methods and to identify gaps in information dissemination and engagement.

You can choose your own evaluation methods. In fact, these are highly dependent on the (measurable) objectives you have set.

Crisis plan

A crisis plan is not always included in an IT communication plan. Not because it is forgotten or because it is not important, but mainly because it is so important, that the crisis plan is separated and treated as a stand-alone strategy.

Although you hope it is not necessary, it is still important to have a plan for communication in times of crisis. This includes informations such as who the main points of contact are, what channels will be used for communication and how often updates will be given.

Here we describe an example of an IT crisis plan in broad terms.

Main points of contact:

Level 1: Immediate response

  • Who: Helpdesk or frontline IT support.
  • Task: Initial assessment, attempt to resolve common issues, escalate if unresolved in 15-30 minutes.

Level 2: Specialist support

  • Who: Technical specialists with deep knowledge in specific systems.
  • Task: Troubleshoot complex issues, implement fixes or workarounds, escalate if critical or unresolved in 1-2 hours.

Level 3: Management oversight

  • Who: IT Managers, Senior Engineers.
  • Task: Approve major actions, coordinate cross-functional issues, escalate to executive level if significant impact or risk.

Level 4: Executive decision

  • Who: CTO, CIO, Executive Leaders.
  • Task: Strategic decisions, resource allocation, public communication, oversee resolution, initiate post-incident review.

Available channels for crisis communication:

  • E-mail alerts
  • Mobile messaging
  • Phone tape
  • Intranet notification
  • Service portal notification

Update frequency:

Every hour.

Message preparation:

To communicate professional updates quickly and efficiently, we can make use of the formats in IT Communication Assistant.

FAQ on an IT communication plan

What role does leadership play in the communication plan?

Make sure senior IT leadership actively supports and participates in the communication strategy. As an IT department, it is important to act consistently to the stated strategy. Senior IT leadership is often very influential and can therefore be used to propagate the IT communication plan to the rest of the IT organization.

How can we integrate our IT communication plan with our overall business strategy?

Point out to the CTO, CIO, and Executive Leaders of your IT organization that you are working on an IT Communication Strategy. They can give you additional insights that rhyme with the overall business strategy. They will agree that consistent communication is always an issue that needs to be worked on.

What challenges might we face in implementing our IT communication plan, and how can we overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges is to ensure your messaging is consistent across all channels. Not every IT professional is an equally good content writer.

For this, your IT department can use the web app IT Communication Assistant.

It is highly recommended to make accounts available to your IT colleagues. This allows them to handle a unified voice and consistent messaging, regardless of who crafts the messages and where they are published.

Implement your IT communication plan with IT Communication Assistant

When implementing your IT communication plan, a fast, uniform and consistent approach to messaging by all your IT colleagues is not a given. It is important to get your IT colleagues started.

By providing accounts for IT Communication Assistant, you enable them to prepare clear IT updates. Then you are sure that all relevant information is conveyed in a professional manner.