So you’re going ahead with launching Enterprise Project Management (EPM)? Congratulations! You’ll benefit from the consistent project management practices that this will build as well as better project governance and more successful project delivery. You know all this, or you wouldn’t be implementing EPM! But how do you get the message across to everyone else?
Here are 5 ways to let the rest of the business know what you are doing and why.
If your company has an intranet, this is a great way to announce your EPM launch. There is normally somewhere on the site where project teams and others can publish news so talk to whoever manages your intranet to find out how to get your story on the front page.
The intranet can also be a very valuable source of other resources. You can provide links to the EPM software, a downloadable user guide or section for Frequently Asked Questions and put all the training material online. You could even set up a form for people to request a user name and login or to submit suggestions for how the EPM tools could be further developed.
As the intranet is likely to be managed in house, there isn’t a cost to doing this, although you will have to put some time and effort into thinking through what you want to share and the best ways to do it. And remember that you’ll have two audiences to cater for: people who will hear about the launch in general terms for awareness only and those who will use it so who will want more detailed information.
Newsletters will help you reach a wide group of people which can be good if you want to communicate with an entire department, like, for example, the whole of a global Project Management Office. A regular newsletter in the run up to the launch can be an excellent way of letting everyone know the latest project status and what to expect. You can include a column from the EPM sponsor explaining the benefits as well.
Talk to your internal communications department about whether there is a corporate template that you can use for newsletters, as this will save you a lot of work pulling one together yourself. It can be distributed electronically by email. Newsletters can be relatively quick to write as you probably have a lot of the information already, but be aware that not everyone is going to read them!
3. Group meetings
Launching EPM will have an impact on how people work, so you want to make sure that those individuals affected by the change in working practices get all the information they need about what is going to happen. A group meeting is an effective way of presenting a lot of information to people at the same time and allowing everyone to ask questions.
However, it can be difficult to get everyone together in the same location at the same time for this kind of briefing. You may have to hold several meetings like roadshows to give the same message to a number of groups, so they can be time consuming to arrange and hold.
4. Individual meetings
Following on from ‘town hall’ style group sessions, you may want to hold face-to-face meetings with affected individuals. These can be a good opportunity to explain how someone’s work will change in practice, or to set new guidelines for how someone will, for example, provide project status updates using the new tools.
People generally feel more comfortable asking questions in this kind of environment, too. Rather than try to meet with everyone affected, you could brief line managers of the various teams and then ask them to hold one-to-one sessions with each person.
Finally, you could use a poster campaign in selected locations to countdown to the launch of your new tools. This is a good way of reaching a wide, general audience for awareness purposes. Posters aren’t great at providing detailed, targeted information but if you want to reinforce the benefits of EPM or remind people of the key milestones for the launch project, they are an easy and cheap way to do so.
You’ll probably want to use several different ways of communicating to get the message across about your adoption of EPM and the benefits it will bring to the company as a whole. Build all of these into your communication and stakeholder management plans so you don’t treat the launch communications as something separate and extra to do when the time comes, and everyone will be on board for implementation day.