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 at same time, and many connections exist among project teams.
In this environment, teams work independently, but at same time depend on each other for critical information. Without that information, time is wasted and progress slowed.
In a broader sense, 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 from process, as well as 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.