Communication. The word is everywhere. We are aware of its importance, but the constant use of the word often desensitizes us to the critical nature of efficient idea exchange. Nowhere is it more important than when working with your educational consulting firm; a successful project outcome demands valuable communication.
Leading practices for reliable and useful communication demand constant communication. Following are actionable steps you can take to ensure your project has every chance at success.
STEP 1: Communication Plan
Your project should begin with a mutually acceptable communication plan. A highly qualified vendor has experience building effective and intentional communication plans, and will make recommendations which work with your team’s schedule and style. The plan’s routines are designed to ensure information exchange is constant, bidirectional, and able to resolve issues quickly.
STEP 2: Team Agreement
Both teams invest time and resources in the project’s success. Typically, your subject matter experts contribute to more than one project at a time, and time is at a premium. It is critical for a sound communication plan to have the input and agreement of all team members. The custom content creation process requires their expertise and, as qualified vendors, their work to ensure time is used wisely and applied to the best outcome.
STEP 3: Meetings and Status Reporting
Inter-team communication is critical, particularly for time-bound projects. An experienced vendor encourages team communication at every level while ensuring control of the project. This connection can take many forms: daily stand-up meetings of five minutes or less, regular status reports, issue-capture forms, calibration rounds, regularly scheduled agenda- and issue-managed team meetings, and more.
STEP 4: Email Updates
A project’s written reports are useful during development and as artifact materials for future maintenance and upgrades. An experienced vendor will send you regular status reports, meeting minutes, workshop results, and so on. Useful email communication is clear, concise, and structured so that the busy recipient can scan those sections that may impact their contribution and measure next steps.
STEP 5: Lessons Learned
A quality project closes with a stakeholder meeting in which the vendor reports vital lessons learned and the client discusses what worked and what did not. An often overlooked step, this open idea gathering and sharing session helps the client team and vendor with future work together.
The best ideas, processes, and plans fail without effective and constant communication. Your education consulting firm’s communication processes should always reflect connection as a priority. The more attuned both sides are to your project’s success, the more successful your project; and that is what everyone wants when your project goes live.
Using a vendor isn’t a decision that many take lightly; you are trusting someone with important content, and the quality and vision must be in alignment with what your stakeholders expect. Here is a handy checklist you can use to see if a vendor might be a great fit.