If building visibility in an organization was easy, every organization would have it. But the reality is that so much information gets lost in transmission, never gets communicated or somehow just disappears into the dark abyss. To help get project information communicated clearly, start by building out these three fundamental principles.
Clear Processes and Expectations are a Must
We’ve written numerous times about the benefits of having clear processes and it’s because they're incredibly important. By investing a little effort into defining processes, you can not only prevent information from falling through the cracks but also build confidence and trust with project teams that information is flowing and people are listening. Clear processes and expectations mean outlining how someone in your organization would submit and develop a new project idea, update project status and escalate any issues, just to name a few. You should also outline how management evaluates new ideas and projects, resolves project issues and determines the corporate goals that guide your organization’s work. When you set these processes and expectations, everyone knows how information is collected and how it’s used to make decisions. This elevates important information and helps it get disseminated across your organization for better visibility.
Set Deadlines and Meetings and Stick to Them
When you clearly define deadlines, turnaround times and meetings, you create a rhythm to your business that not only keeps work moving forward but also reserves time for information sharing. Deadlines to set can include dates for submitting new project ideas or project status updates. Sticking to deadlines can make sure you’re ready for decision-making meetings where upper management considers new project ideas, resolves project conflicts currently affecting your project portfolio, and provides the opportunity to make changes to projects to better support your organization’s goals. Set these dates on the calendar and let everyone in your organization know when they are to create a space for information sharing and problem-solving.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This one sounds obvious, but I want you to think about communication as more than emailing colleagues or holding meetings. To achieve visibility for your project plans, you’ll need to promote meaningful communication in your organization. The key to creating meaningful communication is to identify who you should communicate to. For most people in your organization, communication likely occurs between project team members or a few key colleagues. But everyone can benefit from expanding their circle of communication. For example, if a project team is putting together a new project initiative for review, encourage them to seek the input of other teams and experts in your organization. Or if a project team finishes a crucial project, encourage them to communicate their success to other interested teams and departments. When your project teams and departments communicate with each other, the information flow creates visibility.