Importance of Communication on Core System Replacement Projects

Tom Benton

In my recent discussions with various insurance IT leaders, communication issues are becoming a common thread in lessons learned during core system replacement projects.  This reminded me of a Harvard Business Review blog post I read recently.  The post suggests that communication is an issue that has been of concern for a long time.

The author (Scott Edinger, founder of Edinger Consulting Group) presents three critical elements of communication first proposed by Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who studied under Plato and was teacher to Alexander the Great, a leader who undoubtedly dealt with communication issues on his projects.  The three elements of ethos (credibility), pathos (emotional connection) and logos (reason, or logic) are all important to communicating your message effectively as a leader.  Your team needs to believe what you are saying, connect with it and understand how you came to your conclusions.  The post notes that while all three elements are needed to communicate  effectively, leaders can become better communicators by improving in any of the three.

From my discussions on core system replacement projects, IT leaders believe that improvement in communication will increase the likelihood of success on these projects.  As one Novarica IT Research Council member noted, project leaders need to communicate “early and often” for project teams to successfully meet the challenges of these large, high risk projects.