Enterprise Architecture Implementation Wheel

Communications Plan

It is important to communicate effectively with stakeholders. One way to do this is to create a Communications Plan. Such a plan ensures effective communication of the necessary information to the relevant stakeholders at the right time. It is therefore one of the critical success factors (CSF) for a sound implementation of an Enterprise Architecture [1].

Applying the method

The Communications Plan should describe the communication needs of each stakeholder group, such as the information they need, the frequency of communication, and the methods for sharing information. It should also state the purpose of the communication to the stakeholders. Of course, this will not be the same for each stakeholder group, and this distinction needs to be well defined.

The Stakeholder Power Grid shows which classifications can be given to stakeholders. With each classification comes a set of requirements regarding the communication needs of the stakeholders. It is important to include the moments – especially the frequency of these moments – at which stakeholders are informed or updated.

Once the Communications Plan for Enterprise Architecture implementation has been created, the architect must implement it to foster effective communication and collaboration. From then on, stakeholders are regularly updated on the progress of the implementation, and feedback sessions are offered as opportunities for stakeholders to provide input.

Communications Plan
Communications Plan

Graphical representation

A standard Communications Plan often looks rather static and business-like. It usually does not provide the most effective means of communication in practice. It is therefore advisable to explore options for additional means of communication.

A more effective way of communicating might be to use appealing and sophisticated visuals and designs. These can be used to capture and hold the attention of stakeholders. Common forms of this are presentations and infographics. However, posters or specially decorated rooms where the information is highlighted can also help. It is a good idea to enlist the help of colleagues in the communications or graphic design department to help get the message across. They know best how to speak the language of the organization.

More information

For additional information about creating a Communications Plan, please refer to Chapter 8, Section, of my book Getting Started with Enterprise Architecture.

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[1] The Open Group, The TOGAF® Standard, 10th Edition, Content, Capability, and Governance. ’s-Hertogenbosch: Van Haren Publishing, 2022.