Gartner Research

Creating the Communications Core: The CIO's Guide to Effective Communications

Published: 01 September 2008

ID: G00162066

Analyst(s): Heather Colella , Dave Aron , Lily Mok

Summary

Successful CIOs use communications to inspire action and commitment. A solid communications core consists of a strategy, a plan and delivery skills. By communicating with stakeholders in their language, CIOs lead more effectively and drive better business outcomes.

Table Of Contents

Foreword

Executive summary

  • Engage stakeholders and drive outcomes with a solid communications core
  • Create a consistent communications core to drive day-to-day performance
  • Build on the communications core to address specific events
  • Leverage the communications core to prevent or defuse a crisis

Engage stakeholders and drive outcomes with a solid communications core

  • Develop a communications strategy to provide an overall framework for delivery
  • Hone your skills in delivering effective communications

Create a consistent communications core to drive day-to-day performance

  • 1. Strategy: Communicate vision and plans to reinforce IT as a business
  • 2. Performance dashboards: Emphasize business performance rather than IT metrics
  • 3. Policies: Set the performance boundaries for the IT organization
  • 4. Satisfaction surveys: Monitor IT’s progress and gather ideas for improvement
  • 5. IT updates: Build ongoing commitment by communicating to the entire IT organization simultaneously

Build on the communications core to address specific events

  • 6. Transformation management
  • 7. Portfolio reprioritization through governance: Scope, schedule and resource
  • 8. Board updates: Demonstrate business leadership skills and capabilities

Leverage the communications core to prevent or defuse a crisis

  • 9. Major project failure: Learn the facts, tell the truth
  • 10. Security breach: Don’t go it alone
  • 11. Changes in leadership: Focus on what’s different and why
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Case Studies

  • Case Study: AutoCo—Combining strategy, communications and education to transition to a global company
  • Case Study: Department of Veterans Affairs—Communicating to effect a mandated reorganization
  • Case Study: EasyJet—Transforming IT’s reputation through communications
  • Case Study: The George Washington University—Engaging the enterprise through IT communications
  • Case Study: Intel—Communicating successes and marketing IT through an annual IT performance report
  • Case Study: Missouri Department of Transportation—The communication road to IT value appreciation
  • Case Study: Pioneer Natural Resources—Don’t mistake talking for communication
  • Case Study: RAND Corporation—Communications has a seat at the table
  • Case Study: School Employees Retirement System of Ohio—Changing culture with communications
  • Case Study: State of Alabama—Communications to consolidate services for the willing, failing and unyielding
  • Case Study: Ternium—Integrating acquisitions through communications
  • Case Study: The Warehouse Group—Becoming a communicator, not just a presenter

Further Reading

  • Gartner EXP reports
  • Core research
  • Book

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