Do you ever say to yourself, “They just don’t understand!”?  Since launching Answer Maven, I have had multiple opportunities to speak with people who are struggling to effectively use their technology solutions to meet the information needs of the organization. From small to massive, the central problem businesses have is communication.

Companies who are ahead of the curve in establishing solid policies and effective processes, still suffer from the inevitable hurdle of communicating specific user needs (not just desires, but needs) in a manner that the technology solutions provider understands. Talented people on both sides of the table work hard to work together and yet the gap widens between what is needed and what is delivered.

Source: Jeep.com

Sometimes the terminology is the issue, sometimes, the message is the issue but rarely is it a one-sided problem. The technology may have limits that seem insurmountable. The “wish list” may seem undeliverable. The reality is that there is usually good solid middle ground that can be found that meets the user needs within the existing technology parameters. You may miss out on the heated leather seats but the heater will work just fine.

Every now and then it takes a third-party to come in and listen to the various challenges and begin filling in that gap. More often that not once the absolute requirements are defined, the technology’s capabilities can be explained and the right solution comes to the forefront. It really is a matter of communication.

I’m not saying communication is easy; it’s not. But understanding the middle ground and the land of no compromise is necessary. Some things can be foregone to make the existing solution suffice and sometimes you need scrap the plan and start fresh. Understanding the difference is the critical communication skill necessary for success.

Here are a few tips to help grease the axle of communication:

  1. Define your goals and the related requirements
  2. Make sure the Tech folks have the freedom to explain the No!
  3. When it breaks, document the process and explain why it should not break.

Hope these communication tips help you find the right solutions for your information challenges.

Constance Ard