Communicating the status of existing, planned, and end-of-life IT services early will reduce the probability that rumors and misinformation will stymie successful IT service execution. IT staff, users, and management all share the same dislike for surprises . Repeating the message periodically will reinforce the message itself and ensure that the entire audience has the opportunity to be exposed to its contents.
All IT staffs should have sufficient familiarity with IT services to be able to describe the services, benefits, and deliverables to anyone inquiring about them. They should be especially well versed in their area of expertise and be prepared to present details on those services on demand. IT management should be schooled in all the IT services and be capable of presenting them in business terminology. As described in a later section, help desk staff and account managers join IT management in bearing the primary responsibility for marketing and communicating IT services.
The focus of communication should be identifying the services and their attributes. A "menu" of services”their description, deliverables, availability, limitations, price, and method of accessing them”should be the basis of all marketing communications. The descriptions of the services should be devoid of technical jargon and be "businessperson readable." The content of communications on services should not be censored, with two exceptions: Confidential information, such as personnel decisions, should not be communicated for obvious reasons; also, the notification of end-of-life service offerings should be carefully planned and executed so as to limit undue stress.
In addition to the more tactical-oriented communications on services, the IT mission statement, strategic objectives, and linkages to business objectives should be publicized at the appropriate levels.
There are two paths that IT services communications take. First is a regularly scheduled communiqu that satisfies expectations for a steady flow of information. The frequency can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or linked to project milestones timing. Second, any significant event”positive, negative, or neutral that impacts the delivery of IT services”should be communicated quickly. Specific circumstances and organizational culture of a case will determine what is significant, and how much content is required, by case basis.
IT services communications should take place wherever the opportunity presents itself. The site where they occur may be in regular meetings, conferences, or in the hallway. Websites and internal and external publications all provide venues for communicating IT services information.
Regularly created and distributed reports, such as status reports , will be the backbone of how communications are effected. Articles specific to timely or focused subjects may be written. Presentations should be created for IT management and staff. "Elevator pitches" should be developed for key staff, such as account managers, to prepare them for delivering a pitch for IT services at any time. In many organizations, T-shirts are a most effective communication and motivational tool.