Planning is the most critical stage for any startup as the precision of its mapping will define the success probability during execution stage. Planning includes all the knowledge areas for startup activities. Its like developing small buildings separately and combining all of them together to generate a useful structure.
Communication is the only bridge that aligns all the vertical of any of the startup activities. Scope, schedule, cost, quality, procurement, manpower, risk, integration – all are linked via effective communication to produce effective and reliable results.
When different stakeholders are involved in any of the startup activities, the most critical task is to bring all the stakeholders on same page. Every person has his/her own way of thinking and hence it introduces a scope of reality vs expectations gap. The major and critical communication flow gap could be detrimental for any startup. The best way to avoid such situation is to have a proper communication plan at the planning phase itself.
Communication Planning – Requirements
The requirements for communication planning includes all the basic but important questions related with information flow. For eg: exact progress vs planned timeline, contract terms with vendors, timely payment information etc. Here is the list of requirements for startup communication planning-
- What & Why – The first requirement is the information that needs to be shared with the stakeholders. The best way to define the required information on each vertical at every stage is by aligning the startup activities with the stakeholders. The precision of information mapping will reduce the chances of errors during execution of startup.
- Who & Whom– The second requirement is the mapping of information flow among stakeholders ie who is going to send the information to whom. Linkages of stakeholders aligned with the activities will define the reciprocal of information among all the contact points.
- When – Timely communication is the key factor for success of any of the startup activities. Schedule base lines of startup activities must be aligned with the timeline of information flow.
- How – To define the mediums of communication flow is also important for the success of startup.
Communication Planning – Steps
Here are some tips to map your startup communication plan:
- All the verticals that involve flow of information is the starting point for startup communication planning. So generate a list of all the verticals/activities that are important from communication point of view.
- Thousands of information flow are associated with startup activities. Capture at least all of the critical information associated with each vertical.
- Assigning the responsible stakeholder against each information flow will define the responsibility of each person and it would also reduce the chances of error. So assign responsible stakeholder against each of the flows.
- Sender and receiver are two ends of any of the communication flow. Draw a map for these end points for each of the flows.
- Timely flow of information is as important as the payment against deadline. Any delay will result a gap in the defined baselines. So draw a time frame for information flow as well.
- Also, define the medium of communication among stakeholders.
Communication Planning – Outcome
The outcome of above exercise is the communication mapping among all the stake holders –by what, why, who, whom, when and how analysis. The precision of communication map will generate the desired results during execution phase.
The next step in startup planning is to integrate all the knowledge areas of startup planning into one master plan.
Wish you luck for your startup. Stay connected to know more.