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Communications Matrix


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Communications Matrix
 


What is it and how can it help me?

The communication matrix is a tool for proactively planning communications on a project.  Firstly, you list all the individuals and groups who will need to be told things, or to whom you must listen (Stakeholder Analysis) along one axis; and all the topics or the information that will need to be communicated along the other axis). 

When does it work best?

You have probably already made a lot of improvements to your service, so the next phase of improving services will not be easy - the easy stuff has already been done. This means that you may encounter more resistance.

If you want to keep colleagues and patients on board with your proposed changes, you must communicate with them. Using this tool helps to make sure you have thought of everyone; the time you spend drawing up and maintaining the framework is saved a hundredfold during any project.

How to use it

This tool is excellent for pre-planning with groups; they can write on blank proformas or contribute as a whole onto a flipchart or laptop projection.

Once you have produced the matrix, send it out to all the participants (with any politically sensitive items removed) so people know who, how and when you are planning to communicate and the part they will play. You may get a lot of calls from people who feel that they, or others, have been left out of important parts, but these conversations are shorter and much more productive than contact after the event complaining about lack of communication! 

Examples

This example details a project introducing a new PC system in a GP surgery, plus the trialling of new software. 
 

 

Dr Browne (Dentist)

PCT

Dental Manager

PEC

Dental Rep

Mandy, Dental Nurse

Sarah, Practice Manager

Chris,

IT Advisor

Patients

Definition of project aims

Member of project group

Advise on policy issues

Speak with colleagues about concerns, report to project group

Member of project group

Member of project group

Attend project group meetings

 

Disruption to surgery

Agreed at project group meeting

 

 

Agreed at project group meeting

Agreed at project group meeting

Agreed at project group meeting

Leaflet drafted by Sarah.

Posters

Sharing the plan

Chris to brief individually

Send copy of plan

Send copy of plan

Chris to brief individually

Chris to brief individually

Chris to brief individually

 

Progress reporting

Informed by Sarah of all variance in plans

Informed of changes to resource use or timetable

Informed of major departures from plan

Told by Sarah of changes affecting her

Monitors activity against project plan

Informed by Sarah of all variance in plans

 

Times of training

Memo from Sarah

 

 

Memo from Sarah

 

 

 

Outcome of software evaluation

Copy of evaluation report.

Presents findings at clinical governance meeting

Copy of evaluation report

 

Copy of evaluation report.

Attends clinical governance meeting

 

Data collected sent to Chris

Writes report on evaluation

 

Etc  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What next?

Background

This is an established tool well used in project management.

© Copyright NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement 2008


© Copyright NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement 2006-2014