You might saturate communication channels Someone else might saturate communication channels
- Your stakeholders 'lose sight' of the communication plan
- Your stakeholders actually tell you they should have read the communications, but they're sorry they didn't and now they're in a bit of a mess
- You've racked your brains but you can't work out a way to ascertain whether or not your stakeholders have read, retained and understood your communications.
- You're facing universal stakeholder apathy (this is on a sliding scale from mildly disinterested to venomous mischief making
Your stakeholders have 'lost sight' of the communication plan
This is one of those damning euphemisms which you really don't want offered forth in a board meeting. It's usually a response to some adverse incident which an observer has laid at the door of a communications management deficiency. A more forthright assessment might find the issue wholly predicated upon human factors.
Either you don't have a communication plan or, you're not 'managing your stakeholders'*. Or, you do have a communications plan, you are appropriately engaged with stakeholders and the assessment is simply wrong.
I take the stance that you don't treat stakeholders like farm stock, but not everyone maintains such an enlightened view.
Do not allow something that isn't a communications issue to be painted as a communications issue. If you don't have a communications plan, you'll have to bite the bullet. If you have a communications plan and the issue really is a communications issue then use something like 5-whys of other root cause analysis approach and take the corrective action necessary.
Your stakeholders are in a bind because they've not read your communications
You've done your job. Really, you have, You can show unequivocally the accountability for the lapse (be what it may) lies elsewhere and in this particular instance with someone who should have, would have, could have but didn't read any of the 6 carefully planned and executed communications bulletins. However, they can't work now and are costing the business money and that's starting to make you look bad.
Insufficient quality management. The key here is not the fact that your stakeholders didn't read the communications, its the impact of them not reading the communications. You cannot ensure your stakeholders read, understand and retain what is provided to them. In most instances you can manage what happens if they don't read it, understand it or retain it.
Implement poka-yoke or simliar. However you do it, don't let your stakeholders fall into a man trap because they 'didn't get the memo'.
You can't validate the efficacy of your communications (#5)
You've no qualified or quantified measure of the efficacy of your communications plan. Nagging doubts. Often at 2am.
You're a project manager not a mind reader
You've hopefully still got your communications stooges on talking terms from issue #1. They'll be a good help with this from simply opening up a dialogue to engaging them in test activities. I'm not a fan of surveys for this purpose. If I instate a test activity it will be designed to weed out deficiencies in communications or, what might in fact turn out to be confirmation testing. I'm not sure a survey does either one of these things well.
Apathy (and sometimes venom and mischief)
Rather self evident this one
Not ever so likely to be a communications issue but quite possible one which is first encountered by those project staff engaged in communications activities.
It's not a communications issue. Communications probably isn't the root cause and certainly is unlikely to resolve this independently. Escalate to the board and sponsor. Use the risk and issue logs with due prejudice.