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The Change and Communications Specialist is responsible for effective communications between ITS and its stakeholders, developing collateral for the Division and maintaining a framework for communication. This role also supports the CIO and the management team with the change management program that affects all ICT professionals in UQ.

 

Change Management

The role of the Change and Communications Specialist is to support ITS meeting its strategic transformational objectives, as well as supporting the Division to build its change management capability.

Change management is the planned approach, process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve the desired business outcome.

There are may models that are commonly applied for change management. Some well known models include Agile, ADKAR, Kotter and Prosci. The Kotter 8 Step Process is the model that is encouraged at The University of Queensland. You can find details on how to follow the Kotter process by clicking here.

Change management should follow a structured approach and requires leadership to facilitate change management activities within the business.

Some key activities when undertaking change include:

  • Developing and managing a change management strategy
  • Understanding and assessing the change impacts
  • Understanding areas of resistance and appropriate remediation activities
  • Assessing the readiness for change
  • Development and coordination of support materials
  • Managing risks and issues
  • Measuring progress with appropriate success metrics
  • Ensuring change requirements (including communication requirements) are factored into project or program plans

When conducted well, change management has a positive impact on establishing and maintaining a high performance culture.

Change managment should not be confused with project management, or in an IT environment, technical change management, which are very distinct and different disciplines.

 

Communications

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Vision

Information Technology Services actively engages with internal and external stakeholders to keep them informed and foster collaboration to provide and improve services that are valued across the University community.

Mission

Information Technology Services will interact dynamically with its stakeholders in a variety of ways that keeps them informed and excited about delivering innovative and valued services. This will be achieved through story telling, imagery and alternative channels.

Communication for projects and initiatives

Ensuring a communication plan is in place at an initiation stage is essential to ensuring that early consideration is given to messages and updates you wish to provide for staff, students and specifically identified stakeholders. It is also a critical part of the change process, to ensure that transition takes place as seamlessly as possible, and that people either impacted or interested in the change are informed.

To view the template for a Project Communication Plan, please click here.

The Project Communication Plan is designed to ensure that you consider what and when you plan to communicate information, stakeholders that need to be identified and considered, as well as the variety of channels you can utilise to distribute information.

The Project Communication Plan also requires you to determine the varying levels of interest and influence stakeholders have to enable you to understand their drivers, and so you can tailor your communication material and methods to be most effective.

Please also consider that there may be existing communication material that will require updating or refreshing (i.e. website content, policy and procedures) and these will need to factored into your communication planning. It is important not to leave these requirements until the implementation stage, as it can often be time confusing, and approvals may take longer than anticipated.

The Project Communication Plan, should be a ‘living’ document that is updated and amended as required. The initial phase is the draft phase until it is approved by the Project Sponsor.

The Change and Communications Specialist is available to provide guidance if required and can be contacted by emailing communications@its.uq.edu.au.

In addition, it may also be worth considering developing a project brief or ‘project on a page’ to help project team members provide stakeholders information about a project that they can share onwards with other colleagues. Please click here for a template for a project brief. These details and examples of completed project briefs can also be found on the ITS projects website.

Other channels (or ways you can communicate with an audience) are described in the Communication channels section below.

Technology updates

There is often a requirement to update staff or students of changes to an existing service or software. These changes may be in relation to upgrading, or, in the case of legacy systems, retirement of the platform itself.

In a number of these examples, the person using the existing service will need to either be aware of the change, and/or make arrangements to transfer any work that is stored on the service before the system is retired.

To avoid similarities with phishing emails a template has been developed which can then be uploaded to Vision 6 for distribution.

To access the template, please click here.

Once you have completed the details as requested on the template, please email it to communications@its.uq.edu.au along with the list of email addresses you wish this sent to. The list will be uploaded and the message transferred to the template on Vision 6. The Change and Communications Specialist will assist in the distribution of the message.

Communication channels

Messages and information can be distributed in a number of ways, whether it be in newsletters, websites, bulletins or social media. These are often referred to as channels.

A variety of channels should be considered when communicating, and email should be avoided if possible. While email can be an immediate way of communicating, the impact you wish to convey may be diminished when delivered amongst other emails the recipient may have delivered to them. You want to try and set your message apart from usual email traffic to ensure it is read and acted on if required.

Newsletters

ITS publishes the, Techtimes newsletter, which is distributed to all of the UQ IT community. Techtimes is published every two months and aims to highlight stories that demonstrate the value ITS is providing in its operational and strategic activities.

Techtimes is distributed using a platform called Vision 6, in which provides it with a distinctive look, and arrives as a message in your email inbox

To submit a story to Techtimes, click here for a story submission form.

If you wish to distribute a story of message to a wider group of UQ staff, you may wish to utilise UQ Update which is distributed every Monday. UQ Update has an online submission form which can be accessed by clicking here, but please be aware that there is a strict 100 word limit on submissions. If you would like to submit a story, you can contact the Change and Communications Specialist to help refining to 100 words, and also ensure that Division key messages are highlighted and included.

News Bulletin

The ITS website includes News Bulletins for important and significant topics, on the home page. This is a useful way of attracting a reader if they are searching through the ITS website. If you have a news item (such as a security issue) you wish published, please contact the Change and Communications Specialist at communications@its.uq.edu.au.

Brochures

Very much like a project brief, a brochure is a useful way of providing information to staff or students, particularly if framed as a user guide that the recipient can take away and keep with them. This may be a useful channel if, for example, you are introducing a new service to replace a retired legacy system that had widespread use. Please click here for an example of a brochure.

Digital signage

UQ has digital screens in many locations across campus. These can be used to relay information to a wide group of students and staff, and also for visitors to UQ. Digital signage is managed through an online digital signage server called Appspace. Access to Appspace can be organised by contacting the ITS Service Desk at help@its.uq.edu.au or by calling +61 7 336 56000 or 1300 738 082 (Australia-wide). Alternatively, you can go to www.appspace.com to browse the Knowledge Centre and create a free account to access user guides and tutorials.

Social media

Social media is an ever expanding and popular channel. This includes Facebook, Yammer and Twitter. ITS does not currently have a social media presence, but is looking to develop this as 2017 progresses.

Approvals

When considering information to communicate, please be aware of approvals that may be required before distribution. Below is a matrix which highlights what level of approval is required dependant on the audience you would like to reach.

Approvals Matrix

Communication type

Approver

All student message*

CIO

All staff message*

CIO

All IT message

Associate Director/Deputy Director

Project information (external to IT)

CIO

Project information (internal to IT)

Project sponsor

External publication

CIO/OMC

* service issues and outages are forwarded by the ITS Service Desk and do not require apporvals

Change and communication resources

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ITS publishes the Techtimes newsletter for the IT community at UQ every two months. If you have a story you would like to share, please email communications@its.uq.edu.au

Communications Resources

Agenda Template (DOCX)

Communication Plan Template (DOCX)

Meeting Minutes Template (DOCX)

PowerPoint Presentation Template (PPTX)

Project on a page Template (PPTX)

Story-telling guide (PPTX)

Technology Change Example (DOCX)

Technology change Template (DOCX)

Techtimes submission Form (DOCX)

 

 

For any change and communications support, contact Sean Walker, Change and Communications Specialist at

sean.walker@uq.edu.au or +61 7 334 66986.