Valentine’s Day has always been a cliché filled holiday, with overpriced flowers and a two-hour wait at every restaurant in town. For many, it’s also filled with high expectations and occasional letdowns.

Yet this year, Valentine’s Day brought me a nice surprise. It wasn’t two-dozen red roses or an elaborate night on the town. It was the simple gesture of a heartfelt card and a homemade dinner. This Valentines, it was the small things that really made the day special.

Not only in love, but also in company communications, the small things can have the biggest impact. As a change management consultant for Panorama Consulting Group, our team has recently been spending a great deal of time facilitating inter-project and inter-company communications for a client. From milestone announcement emails to a dedicated project web-page, one pattern seems to keep emerging. It’s often the small things that create the biggest response and have the greatest impact on communication effectiveness.

Example 1: Last week we put together project update bulletin boards. Although I felt like I was in kindergarten creating these colorful collages of information, the small effort really paid off. In the short week they have been posted, we heard more comments and questions, and were able to respond to many on the spot.

Example 2: When inter-project communication needed a boost, we decided to start using an existing calendar within the companies’ SharePoint site. In days, the calendar starting filling up with useful project information. As a result, people were brought in the loop in a manner that streamlined quality communications and decreased the quantity of emails. It was really awesome to see an existing tool become a powerful communication solution.

The two examples above took less than a day to create and train users on, yet they have been some of the most effective communication mechanisms thus far in the project. In the end, it really goes to show, it’s the small things that can make the difference, in love and at work.

Blog entry written by Jacqueline Gardner, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Group.

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