Getting the Communication Right

The British Commuter Society has changed considerably since I joined (more than 20 years ago) and so has the world.  In the last couple of years, it has recognised that the world was leaving it behind. I’m glad to say the sleeping giant shook itself and started to move. The United Kingdom’s IT profession and government started to realise it had an organisation that could unite the diversity in the IT profession and make a real difference: from professional computer games players/testers, to embedded systems engineers, to teachers and researchers, through to programme managers making strategic decisions about business systems.  

 This breadth was recognised in the Industry Structure Model (ISM) in the 1980s and 1990s – this is now SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age, pronounced “Sophia”) which provides the profession with definitions for roles and competencies for each level of role.

The BCS transformation programme is a multi-million pound investment to make this organisation the professional body it should be.  The launch included two videos (links below) showing the need for change and the future vision.  Then the programme stumbled.  Lots of  projects happened and some won awards but some of the members didn’t feel they understood what was happening to their professional body. There were two minor errors in the way two of the projects were communicated and some stakeholders felt offended. The problem was compounded by not hearing these objections early enough and dealing with them. Lessons need to be learnt.

Project managers are trained to focus on their mission and overcome difficulties. This means there is a tendency to be single-minded and determined get things done. You learn to accept grumbles because no project is perfect. These are useful tools but when dealing with dissatisfied stakeholders, this approach makes things worse.

Even in the right programme some minor incidents of getting communication wrong has added considerably to the cost of the transformation process.  Communication planning is easy to leave to the last-minute – don’t! 

I look forward to being part of the new BCS / Chartered Institute for IT
This video shows how the world has changed and why we now live in the information society:

This video shows what the BCS – the Chartered Institute for IT is all about: being the professional voice for social inclusion, policy making, improving the performance of IT and professional development for the IT professional.


About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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