A communication network can map the volume, frequency or quality of communication exchanges.
Analyses can examine global network properties which assess overall network performance, and individual properties which reveal highly central players who are crucial to the performance of the network, isolates who exist on the periphery of the network, brokers who connect otherwise disparate groups and potential bottlenecks who are overburdened or who impede the flow of exchanges in the network.
The network below was created to determine the degree of internal alignment on a given project.
As the graphic clearly illustrates, while there is some communication between the sales and marketing departments, there is little communication between the two research departments. As we look more closely, the marketing department is well-connected internally but maintains few outgoing communication links with the sales team. The fact that there is only one link between the research teams may limit the amount of cross collaboration on initiatives. The fact that there is only one link between Research Team A and the sales team may limit the sales team’s ability to communicate customer needs. Any situation where there is only one node or link connecting two groups makes the network susceptible to disruption.
A manager viewing this data can draw conclusions about whether or not these patterns are aligned with what is expected or desirable in a given situation.
How to further interpret the network:
- This network is based on the survey question, “How often do you communicate with colleague A about project B?”
- Edges exist between nodes if respondents answered “Daily, Bi-weekly, or Weekly.”
- Nodes are colored by department.
Network Insights offers an end-to-end solution which will walk you through the initial stages of selecting your focus group, the development of a survey, the collection of network data, and the analysis and visualizations of your network. If you are interested in building a deeper understanding of the communication flows in your organization’s informal networks, please contact us to learn more.