Phase 2: Communication plan –
In this phase, you need to communicate with your troops about the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, through your information in the memo. The communication plan should involve a diagram showing the flow of information, the timing of the communication as well as the media of the communication. You also need to submit drafts of any communication pieces of your communication plan.
A communication plan refers to a policy-driven approach towards keeping the stakeholders informed about the current project. The communication plan provides clarity about those who hold the authority to give information to the relevant stakeholders, the appropriate timing for delivery of the information, and the most appropriate channels for delivering the information. It is important to designate a specific individual to communicate information to the various stakeholders. The plan should include all relevant information to the stakeholders. There are many channels of communication available for passing the information. Some of the channels include presentations, email, printed reports, websites, public announcements, and among others. The choice of the suitable channel depends of various factors such as context, personality of the audience, complexity of the message, the ability to obtain feedback, and among others. This paper is a presentation of the communication plan to the troops about the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
Objectives of the Communication Plan
The first and major goal of this communication plan is to inform the troops about what needs to be done to meet the standards based on the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. The second goal of the communication plan is to manage stakeholder expectations by keeping them informed about the project. By keeping the official communications open, it will be easier to management their expectations by eliminating false information (Turner, 2003). The third goal is to establish trust among all parties, including the Chief Information Officer, the troops, and I as the Information Security Director. The fourth goal of this communication plan is to enhance participation and collaboration in the project. By keeping the official communication lines open, the troops will be more willing to participate actively in the project, provide feedback, and be active in developing solutions to potential problems.
The target audience for this communication plan is the troops. It is important to ensure information reaches the troops at the right time to avoid confusion. The troops are one of the major stakeholders in the project. As such, it is important to ensure they receive information at the right time.
The key message concerns integrating the standards outlined under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan in order to enhance the protection and resiliency of the critical infrastructure in the country (Wallace Foundation, n.d). The Infrastructure Protection Plan must take into account the provisions of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan in order to build resilient security systems in the organization. It is worth noting that the high dependence and interdependence of the country’s information systems increase the vulnerability to local and international threats. The memo outlines the various standards that troops must observe in developing a resilient information system. Other information to share with the troops include code of conduct, budget information, handling complaints, details about all partners involved, and important contact details.
Three communication methods will be applied in delivering information to the intended audience. The methods involve written, oral, and electronic communication methods. In particular, general messages will be carried through posters and notice boards placed at strategic locations for easy access by the troops. On the other hand, electronic mail will facilitate the passing of personal or confidential information to select individuals. Electronic mail will also facilitate the passing of complex information such as graphs, budget analysis, and other information to the troops (Downs & Adrian, 2004). Models and demonstrations will help in clarification of complex issues arising during the project. This will facilitate direct exchange of information and ideas on the project. In addition, models and demonstrations will allow for instant feedback from the troops about the project (Downs & Adrian,2004). As such, it will be easy to learn about the issues arising from the project. The following diagram shows the flow of information, timing, and the media carrying the information.
Enhancing two-way Communication
Two-way communication will facilitate dialogue and gathering of important feedback, ideas, and suggestions from the troops (Wallace Foundation, n.d). This will help in making critical changes to the project and meeting the needs of various stakeholders including the troops. Gathering feedback will also enhance continuous improvement of processes in the project. As the Information Security Director, there is need to obtain constant feedback in order to make decisions on necessary adjustments to the program. It is worth noting that not all communication channels can facilitate receiving of feedback from the troops. In particular, written communication such as posters and notice boards may not facilitate feedback (Downs & Adrian,2004). On the other hand, electronic mail and oral methods such as demonstrations will facilitate feedback.
Specifying a Timeline
It is important to maintain communication at all stages of the plan (Wallace Foundation, n.d). Various stakeholders including the troops should receive information about the key developments of the project. Communication is most critical during the earlier stages of the project, while making changes, and in case of project delays or disruptions. The timeline should include the time prior to the initiation of the activities. In some cases, the timeline involve activities 3 months prior to the commencing of the project. For instance, the program manager should establish a number of things prior to working on the project. These include identifying all stakeholders, determining the situation analysis, identifying the goals and objectives of the project, reaching out to board members, and among others.
Budget for the Plan
The plan utilizes cheaper methods of communication to the troop members in order to keep costs low. Certain methods such as the mass media may lead to high budget costs for communication (Turner, 2003). There are many cheap methods of communication such as the ones utilized in this communications plan. The following is the budget for the communications plan.
||Cost per unit
||Total number of units
||One poster per working area
|Models and demonstrations
||The total cost of facilitating a single demonstration lesson
This involves rolling out the communication plan. The roll out will be easy since the communication plan aims at informing the troops only. In case there is involvement of various stakeholders, a need emerges to inform these stakeholders using a certain parameter (Wallace Foundation, n.d). For instance, the information should reach those in senior ranks first before flowing to those in junior ranks.
This involves carefully evaluating the communication plan to ensure it is effective in all aspects. Where weaknesses are identified in the communication plan, efforts should be made to improve on the weaknesses before they negatively affect the communication process. The monitoring process will be part of the overall program review. Various methods can help in reviewing whether the communication process was effective. These include observing, talking to the troops, obtaining written feedback, and other methods.
Downs, C. W., & Adrian, A. D. (2004). Assessing organizational communication: Strategic communication audits. New York: The Guilford Press.
Turner, P. (2003). Organisational communication: The role of the HR professional. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Wallace Foundation. (n.d). Workbook A: creating a communications plan. Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Workbook-A- Communication.pdf
National Infrastructure Protection Plan Memo