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Comms – Intro
Mark Pratt

The C of ABCDE – Comms

So, you have your product built.

Well done. 

You now want to get ready to start sharing the product with your people. You’ll need to think about how you’ll launch this product and what you’ll need to get them ready. 

This is all about the planning ready for execution in Deploy (the D of ABCDE).

This is critical to deliver your why, and this guide means there’s no risk your hard work could go unnoticed or worse, unused.

Comms gives you everything you need to make sure the people are ready for the product and the product is ready for the people.

Crucially, Comms will make sure you agree how you’ll know when you’re ready and how you’ll know when ‘good’ is good enough.

Stage 1 – Criteria

Time to go back to why and the critical success factors you agreed in Aim. That’s what’ll keep you on track to what you set out to achieve. 

Whether you’re planning to release it all in one go or ‘go live’ in phases, you need to set a criteria before you do anything. 

“Perfection is the enemy of progress.” 

We want you to aim high so applying some structure and criteria is great because it helps you know when ‘good’ is good enough. It also avoids unnecessary debate further down the line, all of which can add to your time and cost (not to mention frustration). 

Not to dampen your excitement to get this show on the road. Instead, we want you to be as sure as you can be that this ‘why’ is really going to get delivered. Then everyone will be happy. 

It can be tricky, so we’ve provided examples and structure to help you get there. 

Working out who needs to know what and when, and mapping some success criteria to that is how you’ll join all this together.

Stage 2 – Training

Getting people ready for the product is as important as the product itself.

Just as we’re passionate about training you in the ABCDE way, we want you to be as enthusiastic about helping users, customers and colleagues get ready.

Whether it’s a little or a lot, the project can only truly claim victory if everyone is ready. Work out where people’s knowledge is now, and what it will take to fill any gaps.

The more training needed, the more arrangements you’ll need to make.

The more thorough this plan is, the better.  Use the criteria you’ve defined to understand how much training is enough.

Stage 3 – Marketing

You’ve come this far, time to let everyone know it’s coming.  

How can you make sure the right people get to hear about your product? With some marketing.

You don’t need to be a marketing expert. What this stage does is works out what your marketing activities look like. You can then factor them in to your plans and costs.

Just like the other aspects of the Comms phase, you need to define your marketing criteria first to know where you need to get to and what you need to achieve.    

The marketing of your product needs planning out and thinking through. You need to think about:

  • Market – who you’re trying to reach
  • Message – what you’re going to say
  • Media – where you’re going to say it

Don’t forget the people in the business as well as people outside.

All of this links directly back to your why and the benefits you wrote down in Aim.

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