Internal Communication and Interagency Cooperation
So much of what we talk about has to do with interagency cooperation but that sort of collaboration must first extend from fluid, internal relationships. In other words: your organization’s departments must first be interdependent on a micro level before your organization can cooperate with another agency on a macro level.
Monty Spicer, of the National Property Management Association’s Northwest Chapter, addressed this very issue in an engaging article he authored in NPMA’s October/November newsletter. The focus of his piece was interdepartmental relations as viewed through his work in Iraq. In his article Spicer stresses the value of constant, reliable communication in the building of working relationships between all associated departments.
Spicer breaks down departmental cooperation as follows: contacts, procurement, budget/finance, client/project management, and Government property administration (GPA). Additionally, Spicer stresses the need to focus on sub-department communication and identifies information technology (IT), maintenance, transportation, security, warehouse/facilities management, and human resources as vital, mission-specific sub-departments to identify.
Interestingly, the first grouping involves action steps such as establishing project specific guidelines and regulations (contracts), determining price, quantity, and delivery of assets (procurement), conducting audits and cost analyses (budget/finance), purchase order approval (client/project management), and property standards and regulations (Government property administration), that are congruent with broad agendas shared by multiple corroborating agencies. Again, establishing effective communication internally translates to equal successes when it comes time for interdependence on the agency level.
However the real focus of any internal communications strategy is to focus on the sub-level departments. Even at the most basic level it is good practice for all Property Managers to develop a working relationship with even the smallest department because every department utilizes organizational resources and every department contributes to the overall mission. The take home point is this: the more specific a responsibility, the greater the need for effective communication.