It's all about A.D.L.I. What does "D" stand for?
Breaking Down A.D.L.I. (Approach, Deployment, Learning, Integration)
Welcome back to our series, Breaking down A.D.L.I. (Approach, Deployment, Learning, Integration). In our last post, we talked about the approach for a change. The key takeaway was you need to know where you are, where you are going, and the steps (in enough detail) to get you there. This week we will focus on the next step in the process called deployment or the "D" in ADLI. We will take a few weeks to talk about deployment because this is critical to any change. This week we will focus on the topic of communication in the deployment step.
Let me start off by asking a question. Has anyone ever been blindsided by a project because someone said "go" before everything was ready? Have you ever been blindsided by someone making a change without communicating they were making a change? If you have, you know this is exceptionally frustrating and creates a lot wasted time and resources. So our goal is not to be one of the people that said "go" before we are ready. Agreed?
The deployment phase is just as critical as the approach, and if not handled correctly can create delays, rework, increased resistance or potentially kill the change. So as we talk about communication here are some of the factors for you to consider as you prepare for deployment:
1.) First, identify those people who are involved in the change. Look beyond the people who will drive and implement the change but includes a broader audience. Consider two different groups of people:
- Who are your stakeholders? Stakeholders are people or organizations that are impacted by your change. These can be people or organizations in your company but can also be people or organizations outside your company (suppliers, service providers, etc.) that could be affected by your change. I have seen a lot of great ideas fall apart because people forgot to involve their suppliers or assume that they knew.
- Who are your shareholders? Shareholders are people or organizations that should know you are making a change, but are not affected by the change you are making. The same comment applies to people or organizations outside of your business (suppliers, service providers, etc.).
2.) What is your communication plan to reach each group? A communication plan helps define how you will interact with the different groups to ensure everyone knows the status. For some, it may be nothing more than a simple FYI. For others, it may require daily updates on the progress. Will e-mail suffice or do you need a regular debrief? How much detail is necessary? Our goal on this is to provide the right level of information in the best format that eliminates confusion, miscommunication or having to answer the same question of "so where are we at with the project?" a thousand times. Once it is defined, stick to the plan.
3.) The final part of the communication piece is validate the communication plan is working. While it seems trivial, trust but verify that people are getting the right amount of information, especially in the early stages. Touch base with people to make sure they are getting what they need. If not, adjust as you go to make it more efficient. Being up front, and proactive is a great way to nip an issue in the bud before it grows into something more severe.
In our next session, we will talk about another component in the deployment step, execution.