Thursday, August 23, 2012

Something a bit fishy...

Well it's no good beating about the bush with this one. I've produced a double headed Ishikawa diagram for the purposes of illustrating causal factors corresponding to the influence and repositioning of stakeholders. I think it's fair to say no one's done that before.

So what's the point?

First, if you need to get some background on Ishikawa / fishbone diagrams, pop along to Wikipedia. They are worth having some background information on whether or not you're a convert to my eccentric approach to presentation above.

When writing my post some weeks back "Influence - a pragmatic and effective approach" I recall a sense that I hadn't quite nailed the visuals. Sometime later I had to generate a communication management strategy for a project and, when re-visiting the topic with fresh perspective, I came up with the approach above.

So, with the combined knowledge supplied by Wikipedia and my initial post, I hope you can at least intuitively grasp what I'm trying to do here. 

But why? And more to the point, why include something like this in a communication management strategy?

Well first, I think this is a good workshop approach to elicit input. You're not always going to have enough back story on a client site to generate one of these yourself, but you can provide the footpath and fill in the information as (hopefully) the client supplies it. You can also record that input and articulate it in a way that makes sense.

Incorporating it into the communications management strategy (or other similar document) has the benefit that all communications undertaken under the aegis of the project have the opportunity to be informed by themes that should assist that overall stakeholder engagement effort. Better yet, it should do that whether or not you're there to review and edit prospective communications yourself. Generate one of these Ishikawa diagrams, provide a supporting narrative in the communications policy and hopefully, you'll see helpful references and positive themes sewn throughout the project communications effort.
*Per my previous article - the credit for the better part of the approach to stakeholder influence goes to these guys.

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