Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A lot of grey out there....

Riddle me this:
What's black and white and a whole lot of grey?

Answer: Communication!
When communicating we often make a base mistake of thinking that all involved in the communication share the same background, understanding, predispositions, etc. - isn't it a shame that we all don't think alike? Simple words/phrases like task, end of day, complete, YES, etc. are often misunderstood by some/all involved. A PM's main responsibility (at least for this posting) is effective communication and to ensure effective communication will occur a PM should perform some terminology defining tasks. These could include sending out a terminology document, consistently using the same words in the same way over an over (consistent over communication), immediately correcting miss-understandings and miss-communications, etc. Never underestimate the negative effects of poor communication, never assume a good base understanding of any term and never miss an opportunity to reinforce a clear definition. Keep your eyes/ears open for terminology issues - some signs could include:
  • heated discussions over trivial items (you said it would be complete today!)
  • various groups discussing projects (IT and Sales - what a mix)
  • acronyms being used to often
  • the painful look of confusion
Beware of the Tower of Babel in your group!

1 comment:

  1. Yes you are right....communication is vitally important. Use of a formal project management methodology (such as MPMM) minimises the risk of 'miss-communications'.