Is there any information here?

Recently while driving along the GW Parkway (just outside DC) I came upon an electronic road sign (you know, the kind that tells you about upcoming events or road construction).  The sign read (and I quote): "On or about August 19th, roadwork begins."

That's it.

Ntohing about what kinds of roadwork. Nothing about how it would affect the drive. Nothing about whether or not I should plan to take alternative routes. Just "roadwork begins."

It struck me that this is often how we communicate during projects. For example, we tell staff "We'll be replacing our old database with a new one" and that's the extent of the information we provide. No information on how. Nothing on how this will affect my job, or whether or not I should change how I do things.

When launching a new project that will affect staff (whether it's a new database, a new HR policy, or a new event), we need to provide as much information as possible, and we need to help staff understand how the change will affect them (if at all). This means not only a "kickoff" meeting but also "check in" meetings throughout the life of the project.

So ask yourself: Are you telling your staff "roadwork begins" without giving them any details?

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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