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Creating a Communication Plan

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

In the communication plan, describe how you will communicate with participants both before the pilot begins, to prepare them for the pilot, and during the pilot, to exchange status reports. Use the communication plan to identify:

  • The type of information you will communicate, to whom it will be communicated, by what means, and how often.

    If you provide too much information too often or to too many people, participants might start ignoring your communications. Remember that it is important to report successes, too.

  • Mechanisms for communicating information about the pilot, such as Web sites, frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, procedures, and status reports. As you determine how you will communicate with participants during the pilot, begin creating the required mechanisms.

    For example, set up e-mail distribution lists for the various groups that need to receive specific types of information. Note the types of information you plan send to those on each distribution list. For example, from time to time you might want to communicate information about the pilot to others in the organization to keep them informed about the progress of the pilot and to encourage their support for the change when it is their turn to upgrade.

  • What you need participants to do to prepare for the pilot. In your instructions to pilot participants, include the ramifications of failing to comply with the instructions. For example, if you need participants to log off at night so you can update user logon settings, tell them that failure to log off might result in their inability to log on at all because their settings could not be updated.


  • Use links in your e-mail correspondence to pilot participants to provide detailed information without specifying it in the e-mail. For example, if you have users of varied technical competency, provide a link to a Web site that contains additional technical information for those who need the detail, instead of providing it in the e-mail. This approach also allows you to update instructions and details on the Web site as the need arises without having to resend the information.

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