Communicating Change in a Devolved Environment
As Network Rail transitions to Great British Railways following the publication of the Plan for Rail in 2021, their government-set goals see them working towards a safe, reliable, accessible and affordable railway. To deliver this, they have embarked on the Modernisation programme, which will see processes and systems become smarter, faster and more sustainable. Modernisation follows the devolution journey to drive local decision making, and therefore IT Services wanted to provide a guide communicating the change of how to access their services as the ‘IT partner of choice’, as well as how and when to involve IT Services should regions choose to go to external providers.
An example at the time was a new service offer to provide Teams Meeting Rooms to NR sites, which was being offered as people were starting to return to work following the initial Covid-19 lockdowns and for which a core messaging set was desired.
These three areas (devolved decision making, Teams meeting rooms and return to work messaging) had been presented to us separately, which we proposed to bring together to join the dots for communicating change to regions and colleagues across the organisation. This would ensure strategic and consistent messaging and delivery across the three areas, as well as enabling senior colleagues to provide an effective hybrid model of working that ensured the safe running of the railway.
Because of the shared context, purpose and audiences, we developed a coordinated approach for communicating change to the three delivery areas through a strategic ‘umbrella’ of planning and messaging linked to Network Rail-wide return to work messaging, key IT and telecom network programmes and operational service delivery.
- An integrated, overarching key messaging framework and high-level delivery plan.
- A process and core content to support engagement with regions for devolved IT decision making through desired strategic channels in support of IT Services being the IT partner of choice for Network Rail routes, regions and functions.
- A communications plan, key message framework (aligned to the umbrella messaging) and core collateral (e.g. how to… user guide and an animation) for Teams Meeting Rooms to enable these as a solution supporting hybrid working as colleagues returned to work.
The Differences We Made
- We joined the dots between different teams and business units to drive improved outcomes.
- We developed engaging, targeted, clear, consistent content for communicating change.
- We ensured we developed user-focused collateral that was clear, simple and targeted to particular needs.
- We aligned with Network Rail’s strategy and story, Route Services strategy and Route Services approach, individual programme delivery, the IT strategy to be the IT partner of choice, the IT communications strategy and our understanding of Network Rail more generally, strategically and operationally.