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Pile of paper

TMI when communicating is just as bad as not enough


I just read a great tip amongst others from Cupe Projects and just loved it, so I thought I’d share it with you here:

Pile of paper

Source: Orin Zebest

In times where technology permits fast accumulation of unfiltered information, the Project Manager must use caution to only push out information that is useful to the recipient, whether it is for the recipient’s benefit or to solicit a response.

Communication stops  when too much time is required to dig through data to attempt to determine what is required. This is true for project schedules, as well. Project managers that create 600 line timelines and then expect a team member to quickly understand all dependencies and personal deliverables is charting a course for failure. So, the right amount of information is critical.

Too much, and it’s overwhelming. Too little, and it’s a watered down executive summary that doesn’t contain enough information to provide context.

It’s so true, and well said. If you communicate in a way that others can’t find relevant information, or won’t even bother reading, than the result is the same as if you do not communicate at all.

Format your documents/emails clearly (lists, bold, underline), use as few words as possible, and always put yourself in others’ shoes while writing.

Share what you think about this tip!

2 thoughts on “TMI when communicating is just as bad as not enough

  1. I’m known as the checklist guy at work, since I organize everything through checklists. Clearest format for me!

    We could resume the tip as “Don’t give too much or too little information”. That is a useless tip. Something more useful could be “Keep you and your team’s task actionable and categorized”.

  2. In a shameless attempt at promoting my own (still sparse) blogosphere contents, I’d like to refer to a post I wrote about my own perception of what is skillful writing, or written communication: http://cabouchard.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/skillful-writing-matters/

    On a broader scope, it does take effort and care to communicate accurately between persons, no matter the context nor subject.

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