Friday, September 17, 2010

Communication and Icebreakers

I have read once this story, I think on "The Mythical Man Month" (excellent book that I highly recommend):

A number of managers in a company got together to decide who should be assigned to a new, strategic IT project.
All the managers agreed on the name of a lady. Nobody could really say why, since she was not particularly skilled in any specific area. Yet people were vaguely aware that all the project on which she had been working had been highly successful.

On further investigation, it turned out that the real skill of that lady was TALKING TO PEOPLE, and ENABLING COMMUNICATION AMONGST PEOPLE. She was a sort of catalyzer, of potential barrier breaker.

I have seen this in a number of project: the power that ASKING QUESTIONS TO PEOPLE has. It enables awareness of problems and triggers the birth of new idea.

I always say: 75% of problems in an IT project are originated by HUMAN-TO-HUMAN communication and coordination, not by intrinsic technical problems.

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