Do you ever find yourself in a meeting and you go:
"what in heavens name are my tech guys talking about"
– or –
"what does the business mean by that, we are a bank and it is fundamentally about debits and credits"
It turns out that when looking to bridge the gap between business and technology, one group sees the other as a green or red alien – you choose.
But, in a meeting today it dawned upon me that we are actually the same, we just live in a different environment and talk a different language. I was talking with someone today who is a Program Manager for a large project, looking at it from the business side. She has unique experience as she comes from IT and understands that side. One of the observations was that either side have difficulties with their methodologies and approaches to working on a project. It was the different but the same.
So next time a geeky tech person makes not sense, look for and request the translator.
It funny how what we don’t know often scares us. That was the little ahah I had yesterday in a meeting. I look forward to a future CoffeeCAST with Kim to get her insight.
The alien effect you talk about is a very important factor in communications. I expect one of the causes of this effect is that we are all in jobs that really challenge us without trying to learn all about somebody else’s job.
For example, Enterprise Data Warehousing (EDW) is real technical challenge and takes lots of training and experience to get effective in EDW. Now we tell this fellow, that is just great, but now you need to learn all about the drug store business, when even the fellows who are drug store experts are challenged.
So is there a solution? I think the first step is to just learn the terms the different disciplines uses. Also recognize that we are searching together. Can you admit that you are not the expert he hopes you to be? Maybe honesty might reap great rewards and more understanding.
I guess we often seem like aliens to many people and many people are scared of aliens. Do you realize how much you scare people? If you really have confidence, you will admit what you do not know, instead of scaring people.