Why do we need a better communications framework inside the organizations?
Communication is a significant theme inside every organization around the world. But not all of them transmit their principal objectives or vision to the entire company. I have worked in many organizations for about ten years (either public or private). In almost all of them, the transparency of the communication varies from industry to industry.
One part of the problem, people inside the organizations, cause a bottleneck with the company information. They save some data and communicate the rest of it to their teams. It seems to be a part of confidential information, but it does not. Nonetheless, this is not all the fault of the personnel, because the other part of this problem is the company’s responsibility. It has the accountability to share all communication within the company using the proper methods. Of course, we need to establish the correct communication process to perform this critical activity accurately. My intention here is not to make references to well-known frameworks in the market but rather to find the root cause of the problem and make the proper corrections. Let’s not make a mistake establishing a framework first thinking that is a good idea because it will solve all our problems. It is like thinking that implementing Scrum in our company will become agile.
Years ago, a teacher from my master’s degree taught us that managers are like ships captains. They establish the route that the ship must follow, and ALL the vessel members must do the necessary to comply with that route and arrive at their objective. But, what happens if the captain tells this information to some “important” members of the ship and delegates that they transmit it to the rest of the team?. Maybe what can happen is that the whole boat does not operate at the same rate, or in the worse case, they row towards an incorrect destination that the captain wants. Some of them can even scull in the opposite direction than others, generating misunderstandings among the ship’s crew. This is the perfect analogy that we can use to understand the importance of correct communication that managers must transmit to the entire company to achieve the company vision.
My last analogy is for building a house. Architects have an essential role in developing the proper blueprints for builders and engineers. If the blueprints are inaccurate, the house will not be built as the owner wants. But this task is not only for writing the blueprints and passing them to the rest of the team. The architects must explain the essential steps to build the house to ALL groups. The same must occur in a company because the owners (or managers) must explain their vision to Enterprise Architects. They must write the correct designs based on that architecture vision.
I bold the word “vision” twice, given that is the first step that owners must clarify and establish in the company’s vision and mission statute. The entire company must understand and be aligned with that statute. Managers of all levels must repeat to their teams (the required times) the importance of compliance with it and short-term objectives. The second step is to build an initial Enterprise Architecture using the company vision. That’s why the Architecture Vision is the first phase in the TOGAF ADM.
As I said before, the blueprints are fundamental because they show how our house (or company) is built. Following the TOGAF ADM, phases B, C, and D form the Architecture Definition. Each phase has deliverables in its context. For us, the blueprints.
Finally, the captain of the ship (enterprise managers) has the critical task to show and share with the crew of the boat (employees), the target route (Architecture Vision) and the boat facilities (Architecture Definition) that the staff must use to operate in the correct way to arrive at the target objective. This is the proper manner that all teams in the world (families, companies, etc.) must operate to achieve their goals.