// archives

communication style

This tag is associated with 21 posts

The Next Next Big Thing

Part of my job has always dealt with looking into the future and trying to discern important trends that may impact our business. I think I see the next big thing on the way – folks are talking about it now, but I’m not sure enough people in digital roles are thinking about the implications […]

Change is Easy. Habits are Hard.

At technology conferences, vendor seminars, and user group, I enjoy the networking conversations – professionals looking to leverage each others’ background, experience, and relationships, ostensibly to forward their own careers, but openly trying to solve a problem with a win-win for both sides of the connection. Inevitably, however, the conversations refine and regress down to […]

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Coffee Shop IT

Ron Tolido recently used the metaphor of a local Starbucks invasion and the impact on the local coffee shop, comparing it to the introduction of PaaS services such as Amazon Web Services. I like to use the coffee shop metaphor for corporate IT, to illustrate the need for design, usability, sustainability, rigor – and operating […]

How to Draw an Owl

On Documentation One recent afternoon I found myself in deep conversation with potential consulting partners, holding out for a difficult requirement: “Excellent Documentation”. That’s a tough one to quantify, let alone describe; why hold out for something at once critical and ineffable? Doesn’t every project talk about the importance of providing documentation, yet rarely deliver […]

Business Proposals and The Lesson of Jabberwocky

When someone asks my opinion on their writing, I’ll get fairly detailed; I’ve noted in the past that there is a lot of power and influence in the written word, and it’s fairly important to get it done well, or your project proposals just never seem to get off the ground. This particular proposal suffered from […]

The Delicate Art of Pushing Back

Commiserating a week or so ago with an old friend, struggling mightily with some external consulting firm providing technology talent, developing customer management systems for Big Sales Company. There were some critical dependencies on the server side, and the (internal) project team needed some on-site assistance working through the issues. Ad hoc phone support was […]

A Plea for Empathetic Communication

It’s impossible to over-communicate Sounds a bit strong, but if you think through your real-world experiences, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. No matter how hard you try, your message will be missed by someone … Problem: It’s all their fault! Rely on Web 2.0, and … … they won’t subscribe to the RSS feed; they don’t […]

More On Executives (are Smarter than You Think; the 5 Biggest Misconceptions)

A recent post got a surprising amount of feedback – at least, different feedback than my other stuff. No flames, just folks agreeing with the ideas and wanting to engage in more direct conversation (phone calls, as opposed to blog comments or email – interesting …) I’ve noted that people like to second-guess and/or heap […]

Can you, should you, bother Executives with The Details?

In a recent post on Thinking Faster, Phillips expresses concern about the apparent propensity for project sponsors to skim over the details and jump to quick answers. He’s talking about [what I believe is] a peer relationship, when external expertise is brought in to develop the solution that they (the sponsors) are responsible for “owning” […]

When is a project a Project? How to prevent the buildup of backlogged requests

I just wrote something up (internal wiki) that I thought was common knowledge, but I think it’s one of those soft-skills things that makes total sense once you hear about it – but somebody needs to tell you. I think of one of the reasons that IT (at times) intimidates the business – or why […]