Communicating In Chaotic Environments

Written by Robert F. Abbott

How do you, or would you, communicate in a chaotic environment?

That question was put to me by a reader who works in big, frantically-paced telecommunications company. Many projects operate atrepparttar same time, and many connections exist amongrepparttar 141017 project teams.

In this environment, teams work independently, but atrepparttar 141018 same time depend on each other for critical information. Without that information, time is wasted and progress slowed.

In a broader sense,repparttar 141019 challenge is to create communication systems that gather, process, and disseminate critical information. With this information, teams can work more efficiently and effectively.

The reader reports that one solution emerged out of a technical forum organized around a very large project. He says that while participants exchanged technical information, a lot of value came fromrepparttar 141020 process, as well asrepparttar 141021 content.

Specifically, many participants got to know each other, sharing their experiences and insight. This opened up person-to-person channels that had not existed before. New, informal networks developed and participants found alternative ways to get information.

Therefore, he suggested that quarterly conferences might be a good idea, because they provide a mechanism for further developing and extending these networks.

My suggestions complemented his experience and thoughts. I recommended that each team develop an information requirements list at its planning meetings. After articulating such a list, team members can begin identifying where and how they will get this information. In other words, start with objectives, a strategic approach.

Communicating with Offsite Workers

Written by Robert F. Abbott

How do you, or would you, communicate with employees who work offsite?

Perhaps you have telecommuters reporting to you, or sales reps who work out of offices in other cities. How do you communicate with them?

Let's start withrepparttar strategic issues: what do you want to accomplish by communicating with them? And, why would they want to communicate with you?

Strategic means you'll probably want to deal with issues like productivity, accountability, and predictability. You want to know whatrepparttar 140921 offsite employee does, how she does it, and what she will do inrepparttar 140922 future.

Still inrepparttar 140923 strategic vein, you'll ask yourself why she would want to communicate with you: some reasons might includerepparttar 140924 need to maintain human contact withrepparttar 140925 office, to get resources from you, or to work on her productivity.

To return to our sales reps example, you might want them targetrepparttar 140926 certain prospects or to focus on high-margin products, Fromrepparttar 140927 other side, you might ask them about their needs and discover they need to know about product availability and a competitor's new products.

Once you have a clear, articulated understanding of why you're communicating, you can move torepparttar 140928 tactical issues. Issues such as: how often, what issues to raise, and by what means.

Normally, you'll findrepparttar 140929 tactical matters tend resolve themselves if you do a good job on strategy. That is,repparttar 140930 answers to tactical questions tend to flow out ofrepparttar 140931 decisions made in setting uprepparttar 140932 strategy.

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