Strong communication is of great importance in IT service management. It has the power to drive you towards your goals successfully by improving collaborative practices and holistic working, all whilst promoting transparency and building trusting relationships.
As a skill, communication can benefit you in each of the seven guiding principles of ITIL4 training. In this piece we are focusing on the great impact communication has on three of these principles; –
Think and work holistically
Forming a strong communication plan is key to holistic working. By defining how you will communicate to stakeholder groups, teams, customers and clients from the outset you can avoid problems further down the line, and benefit from all parties being on the same page. A comprehensive communication plan should detail the channels used and frequency of communication. It should also take into account using the right communication for the right audiences.
Investing time and effort into communication planning is well worth it. Communication has the power to influence the attitudes of your customers and your teams. It can help bring teams together and ensure smooth, holistic working across departments. This filters right down to jargon and terminology. ITIL 4 training has you speaking a consistent language across the board, which is proven to prevent issues of miscommunication.
Working holistically means both thinking and working as one, with consideration of the value chain and a view of the wider picture. Good service delivery relies on coordination of activities, and working as one, and strong communication, are paramount for this. To best achieve top service delivery, teams must work collaboratively.
Collaborate and promote visibility
Collaborative working has been shown to be instrumental in achieving goals. Where traditionally industries would be very siloed and intel kept ‘hush-hush’, now we are moving towards complete transparency of working. What this means in practice is a collaborative culture which actively promotes visibility. This not only improves the flow of information, but can prevent delays caused by lack of knowledge, wrong assumptions or crossed-wires.
Good communication goes deeper than surface level. It breaks down boundaries, builds relationships and instills trust. When customers, employees and stakeholders know they can rely on your communications, trusting relationships are formed, and this can only lead to positive results.
Businesses which operate with visibility, also build trusting relationships with customers. It was once unheard of for businesses to share trade secrets and insider knowledge with the customer, but this has U-turned to the point that customers can be put off by those who don’t operate transparently. In terms of customer relations, whilst it may be the job of the marketing or sales teams to promote the business, remember that when working holistically, IT service managers and departments too have a role to play. Every point of communication with a customer, potential customer, client or stakeholder should work to instill trust in your company.
Progress iteratively with feedback
Of course, communication is a two way and continual thing. Just as it is paramount that you plan for how you will communicate to each party involved in an initiative; you must also factor in how you are going to receive communications. Effective listening and understanding will also go a long way to building trust with these parties, and acting upon feedback will benefit relations.
Progress iteratively with feedback is one of the guiding principles of ITIL4 training, and the role of communication is an essential part of this. Making steps then taking a moment to onboard feedback can help you to progress. This agile way of working allows you to make changes and adapt accordingly, whilst always validating your direction.
As part of your communication plan, be sure to have allowed plenty of periodic opportunities for feedback. When it comes to making any changes based upon feedback, be sure to keep communication with your teams transparent in order to obtain buy-in. When employees understand the reasoning, they are more likely to be on board with any changes.