The projects world is full of miscommunications and confusion. Technology projects often have diverse stakeholders. They come from different technical areas, geographies and cultures. So, effective communication within the team and stakeholders is usually a big challenge.
Though, it is not a new problem! We have been dealing with miscommunications since humans started collaborating.
The various project methodologies preach about effective communication through various events like stand-ups, retrospectives, Project Status Reports. So then why, after spending too much time on communication, do we still experience miscommunication?
Why do we miscommunicate?
The #1 reason for miscommunication is our unstated assumptions.
We make many assumptions every day which are not always valid. Our peers and project team are unaware of our assumptions. They have their assumptions which they seldom communicate as well. This is the root cause of miscommunication.
Let us see some basic real-world examples:
“The task will take ten days to complete.”
Are you assuming ten business days or calendar days?
“I will complete the task by tomorrow.”
You may be assuming that the task will complete by 5 PM tomorrow. But, the resource doing the work may be based in different time zone or start and end the job late.
You see, unknowingly, we make so many assumptions! Take a moment to think about the assumptions you are making now.
In the projects environment, get your assumptions on the table. Share them with your team. Let them understand and encourage them to table their assumptions as well.
The point is that we do not have a natural tendency to identify and communicate our assumptions. So, help your team and develop a culture where they can openly share their assumptions. It will promote an open communication culture. Try it!