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IT Communication Strategy ➞

IT Communication Strategy

Practical low-key IT Communication Strategy for IT teams (ITSM)

To keep IT communication as low key as possible, here I have written a turnkey IT communication strategy for IT teams (within ITSM).

Immediately transferable into practice.

Instant free download

IT communication strategy for IT teams

As an IT (service) professional, you want to keep your focus on improving IT initiatives, solving problems and deliver value. Communication must be streamlined, without sacrificing your time.

I understand that. That’s why I developed this practical low-key IT communication strategy for IT teams (within ITSM).

Harm van den Elzen

IT Communication Specialist

Low-key IT Communication Strategy for IT teams

In a rapidly changing digital world, IT communication is essential. A practical communication strategy provides guidance.

The foundation of a communication strategy consists of:

  1. SMART objective
  2. An outline of your audience
  3. Your messaging
  4. Your channels
  5. A planning

In doing so, it is important to notify involved parties for execution. It is also useful to plan evaluation moments.

Below, I have already elaborated all components of an internal IT communication strategy for IT teams.

The plan has been developed for general IT communication. This concerns communication about ongoing IT matters (such as projects, changes, and incidents) to stakeholders and internal employees.

For large, customized IT projects, I recommend working with a communications agency.

1. Objectives

As an IT (service) department, you have a common goal. Namely, facilitating innovative and reliable IT solutions for business success.

Stakeholder collaboration and internal employee engagement underlie this. Communication herein is essential.

Goal

Therefore, the main goal in terms of communication for IT teams can be stated as follows:

Apply clear, consistent messaging to stakeholders and internal employees to facilitate smooth operations and foster a culture of transparency and collaboration.

Objective

To make this SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), we can turn the main goal into the following practical objective:

Increase awareness of IT initiatives, incidents, and changes among stakeholders and internal employees by 75% within the next six months through newsletters, regular updates, and other targeted communications.

With this objective, we move further into the communication plan.

2. Audience

Your audience is the target group you reach with your communications. In case of this general IT communication strategy, that’s your stakeholders and internal employees.

Obviously, that’s still very broad. Let’s dive into them.

To better understand the desires and preferences of stakeholders and internal employees, I have outlined personas.

Below, I have elaborated on the 3 main personas, as you will encounter in any company.

Pragmatic End User

This persona is typically found in operational roles, such as customer service, HR, or finance. They rely on technology to perform daily tasks efficiently but do not seek out new technology actively.

Desires & preferences

  • Motivated by efficiency:
    They value technology that simplifies their workload and improves task efficiency.
  • Resistance to change:
    May exhibit resistance to new systems or tools due to concerns over learning curves and disruption to established routines.
  • Community-oriented:
    Highly values the sense of community within their team or department and relies on collective knowledge to navigate technological changes.
  • Seeking reassurance:
    Looks for reassurance and support from IT and peers when adopting new technologies, valuing clear communication and training.

Tech-Savvy Innovator

This persona is always on the lookout for the latest technology trends and innovations. They are likely to be found in departments like R&D, product development, or digital marketing.

Desires & preferences

  • Motivated by curiosity:
    They have a high level of curiosity and a strong desire to experiment with new technologies.
  • Openness to change:
    This persona is very open to change and eager to adopt new tools that can improve efficiency or outcomes.
  • Influence among peers:
    Often seen as a go-to person for tech advice, they influence the adoption of new technologies within their team or department.
  • Networked across departments:
    They likely have a wide network across different parts of the organization, sharing insights and fostering cross-departmental collaboration.

Strategic Decision-Maker

This persona includes senior management and department heads who make strategic decisions affecting the organization’s direction, including IT investments and policy changes.

Desires & preferences

  • Motivated by ROI and risk management:
    Prioritizes technologies and IT policies that offer clear returns on investment and minimal risk.
  • Visionary:
    Looks for ways technology can serve long-term strategic goals, improve competitive advantage, and drive innovation.
  • Leadership and influence:
    Plays a crucial role in setting the tone for technology adoption and usage within their departments and the organization at large.
  • Cross-functional collaboration:
    Engages in cross-functional collaboration, seeking to align IT initiatives with broader organizational objectives.

Consider the desires and preferences of these personas in your messaging.

3. Messaging

To convey clear, consistent information to stakeholders and internal employees, crafting messages is key.

You can deploy the message types below to increase awareness of IT initiatives, incidents, and changes​.

We distinguish between communications you can schedule and ad hoc communications (those you cannot schedule).

Supplemented by advice on frequencies and interactive templates you can use.

To run the interactive IT communication templates provided below, you need an IT Communication Assistant workspace.

Communications you can schedule

Include the message types that apply to your IT team in your communication planning.

Newsletter

Purpose: Keep stakeholders updated with your latest IT developments, highlights, and upcoming events.
Frequency: Monthly or quarterly.
Template:
Newsletter maker ➞

Project introduction

Purpose: Inform stakeholders about new project goals, expected outcomes, and timelines.
Frequency: Once at the start of each project.
Template:
Project introduction ➞

Project update

Purpose: Provide progress updates, milestones, and challenges of ongoing projects.
Frequency: Weekly or bi-weekly.
Template:
Project status update ➞

Scheduled maintenance

Purpose: Notify users about planned maintenance and expected downtime.
Frequency: At least one week in advance.
Template:
Maintenance notification ➞

Maintenance update

Purpose: Offer real-time status updates during and immediately after maintenance activities.
Frequency: As needed, during and after each maintenance.
Template:
Maintenance status update ➞

Major change implementation

Purpose: Announce significant changes and detail their impact.
Frequency: At least two weeks before implementation.
Template:
Major change ➞

Change implementation update

Purpose: Communicate the status, success, or issues post-implementation.
Frequency: As needed, following each major change.
Template:
Change update ➞

New service launch

Purpose: Introduce and detail new or significantly updated services.
Frequency: Once at launch.
Template:
New service launch ➞

Phase-out notice

Purpose: Prepare users for the discontinuation of a service or product.
Frequency: At least one month before phase-out.
Template:
Phase-out notice ➞

Training invitation

Purpose: Invite employees to training sessions relevant to new technologies or their roles.
Frequency: A few weeks before each training session.
Template:
Training invitation ➞

Feedback request

Purpose: Gather user feedback on recent changes or new services to identify improvements.
Frequency: As needed, post-implementation or launch.
Template:
Feedback request ➞

Change freeze

Purpose: Announce periods where no changes will be made to ensure stability.
Frequency: As needed, often annually or before specific events.
Template:
Change freeze ➞

Ad hoc communications

Ad hoc communications are message types that cannot be scheduled. These are incidents and problems, such as unexpected outages and performance issues.

When an incident occurs, however, it is important to respond appropriately and update stakeholders and internal employees about the situation.

Recommended update frequencies

CriticalEvery hour or when applicable
High priorityEvery 3 hours or when applicable
Medium priorityEvery 6 hours or when applicable
Low priorityWhen applicable
Prolonged incidentsOnce or twice a week

4. Channels

To ensure the effective delivery of messages through the most appropriate and accessible mediums, I have described below a core channel strategy focusing on the primarily available channels within organizations.

Email communications and ticketing

To provide detailed updates, policy changes, and critical alerts. Email is a universal tool that can effectively reach all employees but is especially suited for conveying important, non-urgent messages that require documentation.

Audience focus:

  • Pragmatic End Users: For operational updates, system maintenance schedules, and training opportunities.
  • Strategic Decision-Makers: For executive summaries, strategic IT updates, and ROI-focused communications.

Intranet and internal knowledge bases

To serve as a central repository for IT updates, resources, documentation, FAQs, and training materials. The intranet can host forums for discussion and feedback, fostering a community of help and support.

Audience focus:

  • Pragmatic End Users: For easy access to news, announcements, how-to guides, troubleshooting tips, and IT support contacts.
  • Tech-Savvy Innovators: For exploring new technologies, sharing insights, and contributing to best practices.

Training sessions and webinars

To provide live demonstrations, training, and Q&A sessions on new systems, software, or IT policies. These can be recorded for on-demand access, accommodating various schedules and learning paces.

Audience focus:

  • Pragmatic End Users: For hands-on training focused on efficiency and overcoming resistance to change.
  • Tech-Savvy Innovators: For deep dives into new technologies and advanced features of existing tools.

Regular meetings and briefings

To facilitate direct, two-way communication between IT and other departments. This includes regular IT updates at departmental meetings, as well as special briefings for major IT projects or changes.

Audience focus:

  • Pragmatic End Users: For department-specific IT updates and feedback sessions, ensuring their needs and concerns are addressed.
  • Strategic Decision-Makers: For aligning IT initiatives with business objectives and discussing strategic implications.

Internal social media and collaboration tools

To leverage more informal, social channels for quick updates, tips, and fostering a sense of community around IT initiatives. These platforms can support real-time feedback and discussions.

Audience focus:

  • Tech-Savvy Innovators: For sharing insights, innovative uses of technology, and fostering peer-to-peer learning.
  • Pragmatic End Users: For staying connected with IT updates in a more engaging, less formal manner.

Choose the channels available to your IT department and include them in your communication planning.

5. Planning

For communications you can schedule, it is helpful to keep a timeline or calendar. This way you ensure timely and coordinated dissemination of information within the organization.

Include the following in your planning:

  • Event date
  • Topic / Key info
  • Format
  • Channels
  • Who’s involved

The purpose of communication planning is to keep an overview. In IT Communication Assistant, you can create such an overview quickly and easily, without having to fiddle with an Excel file or Spreadsheet, or having to master yet another fancy tool.

Fill your communication calendar ➞

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.

Implementation and evaluation of the IT communication strategy

You can share this IT communication strategy with your IT colleagues to make implementation happen.

To “Increase awareness of IT initiatives, incidents, and changes among stakeholders and internal employees by 75% within the next six months through newsletters, regular updates, and other targeted communications.​” (the objective we set), you have to involve your IT colleagues.

In addition, possibly schedule a quarterly evaluation with your stakeholders and internal employees to see how your communication efforts are resonating. This can be done through feedback requests, customer satisfaction surveys or interaction data on internal communication platforms.

Recommended action

➞ Make sure IT Communication Assistant is available within your organization to enable IT colleagues to successfully execute this IT communication strategy.

Remember you are IT professionals. You want to focus on improving IT initiatives and solving problems. You don’t want to spend too much time on communication.

However, it’s a necessity. But we can keep it low key.

With an IT Communication Assistant workspace, you have these convenient tools at your immediate disposal:

Take advantage of them.

Download this IT communication strategy

Share this IT communication strategy with your IT colleagues.