Communication for orderly change at the City of Burnaby

The client – City of Burnaby, BC

In 2015, the Engineering Department of the City of Burnaby, BC, started a project involving the establishment of a new, dedicated Projects Division within the department, with associated organizational changes. While there was a large classical project management component, the messaging mainly involved pinning down which people were involved and how the changes would affect them, as is usual in this type of project.

Marthe Bijman was contracted to provide project communication services to the Engineering Department. From the outset, the intention of the project team and the Director of Engineering was to execute the project by the book and ensure complete and total transparency. The Engineering Department team made a special effort to set out clearly where the project was going and what the end result would be. This was plainly visible even to an external consultant, and, apart from being best practice in change management, was also highly commendable in terms of ethics.


The Scope of Work for the City of Burnaby included:

  • Strategic advice on change communications for the Engineering Dept. reorganization
  • Research, writing, design and/or production of:
    • Project launch presentation
    • Staff emails
    • Posters
    • Roll-fold brochures
    • Videos of presentations
    • Communication style questionnaire (and review of results)

These media were designed to fit in with the corporate style of the City of Burnaby and earlier, similar communications.

Leon Gous, Burnaby’s director of engineering - July 2013 (Photograph by Larry Wright,
Leon Gous, Burnaby’s director of engineering – July 2013 (Photograph by Larry Wright,

Client performance ratings and comments

The client, Leon Gous, Director of Engineering of the City of Burnaby, rated the service provided at an average of 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being unacceptable/very poor to 5 being highly recommended/excellent. The client noted that it was “quality work delivered in a timely manner.”

Delivered expected outcomes
Timeliness – met deadlines
Understanding of problem/situation
Quality of the solution or deliverable
Technical expertise
Cost of services provided


The client commented on how or in which aspects can delivery be improved, as follows: “Although difficult with the limited time commitment, getting a good handle on the corporate culture will always result in fewer re-writes or modification of the initial drafts. This did not hamper the product for our project too much.”

In general, “Marthe provided much needed focus to the important communication aspect of our re-organization project. She brought good skills and experience to both the communication deliverables and the change process as a whole. Her work was always polished and timely.” – Leon Gous, Director of Engineering, City of Burnaby, 9 April 2015



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