Communication and Collaboration
Communication and Collaboration
International Gadget’s research and development’s (R&D) creation of a new product they believe will revolutionize its globally positioned industry challenges the new team of technical communicators successfully developing and initiating a strategic option directly disseminating the news to specific audiences at primary levels within the corporation. As an integrated process, the communication plan directly affects all the multiple thousands of stakeholders and the potential investment in R&D creating this new product means communicating the process to all stakeholders through effective communication practices (Bradley, 2003). Doing so sets the momentum for collaboration needed for the development goals of the new product aligned to the needed buy-in support of the upper management, sales and marketing (S&M), technical, and of course consumers. The following discusses the channels of communication, the audiences this addresses, and the importance of collaboration related to the communication process.
Channels for Communication
According to growing literature the human resource management (HRM) plays a pivotal role in the organizational structure for communication processes as explained by Zacarro & Banks, 2001). Consequently, the HRM department must put its efforts working first with the communication team in coordinating with R&D focusing on the new product by assisting the coordination of the development communication plan. The use of the existing information technology (IT) the organization uses for memos, email, and other communication processes is fundamental to organizing the project collaboration. These efforts affect every aspect of the company stakeholders as already discussed. This involves transmitting critical information affecting employees as well as all management directives about communication activities of the organization. The fundamental HRM strategies connected to business development and growth incorporates promoting efficiency working with the communication management in this process (Zacarro & Banks, 2001).
Appropriate Channels Specific to Audience
Having a communication plan with channels for multi-level audiences in an organization according to Julian (2010), helps the organization reduce the risk of strategic failure, deliver projects and programs faster, make more efficient use of its scarce investment capital, satisfy customers, and create a more innovative, collaborative work environment for those involved. In this way, organizations can use multi-level learning to transform themselves so that they achieve higher levels of performance, significant competitive advantage, and success in reaching their strategic goals (p. 170).” This means preparing an early collaborative effort with specific departments creating a presentation for the upper management. Communication with the target audiences remains critical to achieving this.
Primary to this process is R&D developing a prototype. This is the basis of designing a presentation for the stockholders and CEOs as a collaborative team effort including the finance department for projected investment monies that reflect adding to the market share with the new product is basic to the process. along with the S&M providing their projections for the payback. Sales and marketing contribute by testing the idea on the consumer with the feedback included in the presentation (Bruce & Cooper, 2000). These are all collaborative channels that provide the necessary information capital for the project. Bruce and Cooper (2000) explain, “Often, corporate product development processes do not take adequate account of the predevelopment phase or the front end of the product development process; new product development processes often start at concept stage missing completely the front end (p. xi).” This is the fundamental aspect of the communication manager’s communication plan effectively leading to a successful new product line.
Implementing new product ideas entails the objective of increasing the organization’s fair market share in the industry by reducing the organizational operating expenses that relies on the input of the finance department providing the prospectus. This is to align to the expected increased investment to the R&D production of the new product (Bruce & Cooper, 2001).
Sales and Marketing
Having the S&M department collaborate in creating the presentation for the top decision making stakeholders in the International Gadget organization is another key factor for successfully communicating the new product idea. The S&M focus their objective on the customer satisfaction with such a new product as they produce presentations with samplings among core customer bases with their direct feedback. These statistics are critical to the design of the presentation and later for use in marketing the product (Bruce & Cooper, 2001).
There is a general theme emerging in the above communication aspect of new product development and that is the collaborative effort. According to Johnson (2010), “Most effective groups, teams, or committees go through four separate stages before achieving effective collaboration” that include, “forming, storming, norming, and performing.” Successfully progressing through the first three of these allows for successfully achieving the fourth (p. 17). In the case of International Gadgets, having the communication team led by its manager working with HR and the information technology (IT) department sets the groundwork for the project taking care of the “forming, storming, and norming” so all that is left is the collaborative performing.
The difference in communication process selling a new product idea to the organization and the process once the idea is on the production line are two completely different focuses according to Bradley (2014). The collaborative effort needed to prepare an effective presentation to the decision-makers whether the new product idea is a “go” or “not” remains the communication management team’s need to coordinate the collaboration so all the elements come together. This means collaborating on a timeline for each of the players having their parts ready for the communication people in completing their presentation.
Since the purpose and structure of the collaboration come from the communication team it is through this framework that the effort begins. Having the specifics of what is required from the R&D, Finance, and S&M communicated through a presentation in a group of these department heads allows an initial collaborative effort creating this team. Setting deadlines, timetables, and regular communication points during this pivotal period also frames the process (Johnson, 2010).
The communication team bringing this new process to the formerly established way of doing things is an organizational change process that relies on a strong organizational culture that encourages open communication and reiterating this is essential to the process of those key players at this juncture (Chahal & Sharma, 2006). The new communication team on board, creates the environment for “accomplishing a task together (as well as) ensuring that each team member is learning, developing, and improving. Coaching and assisting one another is common (Johnson, 2010, p. 17).”
The above successfully provided the necessary outline for an effective communication plan for convincing the decision makers of International Gadget’s to accept the R&D creation of a new product for manufacturing. This included a communication plan disseminating the news to specific audiences at primary levels within the corporation through collaboration.
Bradley, F. (2003). Strategic Marketing: In the Customer Driven Organization. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Bruce, M., & Cooper, R. (2000). Creative Product Design: A Practical Guide to Requirements Capture Management. New York: Wiley.
Chahal, H., & Sharma, R. D. (2006, April-September). Implications of Corporate Social Responsibility on Marketing Performance: A Conceptual Framework. Journal of Services Research, 6(1), 205.
Johnson, P. (2010). Four Steps to Effective Collaboration. Young Adult Library Services, 9(1), 17.
Julian, J. (2010). Facilitating Project Performance Improvement: A Practical Guide to Multi-Level Learning. New York: AMACOM.
Zaccaro, S.J., & Banks, D.J. Chapter Seven: Leadership, Vision, and Organisational Effectiveness. Zaccaro, S.J., and Klimoski, J (Editors). 2001. The Nature of Organisational Leadership: Understanding the Performance Imperatives Confronting Today's Leaders. Jossey-Bass.