Define Your Roles for Best Communication Flows

Effective communication flows are important for any organization. They become increasingly important as organizations grow in size or are required to operate in a more rapid fashion. Communication flows are also one of the most difficult aspects of an organization to manage. Much of the difficulty involves the lack of a good model with which to define the communication flows. Often, communication is defined informally on an individual to individual basis. As individuals change roles, critical communication often does not occur resulting in increased cost and unplanned downtime.

ITIL, by introducing a framework and the concept of roles provides powerful tools to define and model communication flows that do not break down as individuals change roles. In this example, we see communication flows that are defined between process areas. These defined flows remain consistent regardless of who is responsible for any given process area.

These flows can be broken down more granularly by role. For instance, the problem manager has a responsibility to communicate trigger and threshold information for escalation of incidents to the incident manager. If the communication flows are mapped by role, problem manager, and incident manager, they remain consistent regardless of which individual may be assigned to a given role or how often responsibility for that role changes.

Within the operations space, there is continuous communication flow between incident management, problem management and change management. Slide 7.9 demonstrates some of the most common communication flows.