At a recent networking event, a senior IT leader stated, “I sometimes get frustrated when I ask a team member about a particular issue or end user. Often, I get this long, drawn-out technical explanation of the situation. I’m not asking about how the clock works; I just want to know what time it is.”
I was struck by his remark. When we talk about IT things, are we describing how the clock works, or talking about what time it is?
The IT environment found within most organizations is a complex collection of interconnected servers, laptops, software, off-premise services, networks, applications, storage devices, and much more. Each of these components has a number of subcomponents that interact to make it work. For example, a “network” consists of things like cabling, routers, hubs, switches, control software, monitoring tools, and more. An individual server is made up of a motherboard, CPU, RAM, firmware, internal and external buses, one or more fans, a hard drive, a power supply, and more.
Sometimes, physical servers are components of virtual servers, which then act as single units of computing. Sometimes a server is not in the same physical location as the organization using the server. Sometimes the software and applications used by an organization are physically installed and running on that server that is not in the same physical location as the organization utilizing them.
Interesting, huh? And knowing all of this is critical for us IT types that are responsible for making all of this work. But does anyone outside of the organization need to know any of these details? Does anyone outside of IT even care?
Well yes, they do care… but only when these things aren’t working as they should. But even then, they don’t necessarily want (or even need) the details. They just want their service.
When you talk about the IT environment, are you playing “buzzword bingo” or speaking in “technobabble?” If you’re talking to another IT colleague, communicating in technical terms may work. Or it may not... even within IT, we can get lost in “geek speak.” It certainly does not work well with other business colleagues that rely on the services provided by IT.
Effective communication is a critical skill for the modern IT professional. Having the ability to communicate with people ranging from another technologist to a senior executive to business colleague can mean the difference between success and failure. Effective communication helps build credibility, respect, and trust.When you talk about the IT environment, are you playing 'buzzword bingo' or speaking in 'technobabble'? Click To Tweet
Here are a few tips that will help make your communications more effective:
Effective communication is a subtle, yet critical element of good IT service management (ITSM). Good ITSM is more than just resolving an incident, fulfilling a request, or implementing a change. What and how you communicate what you’re doing is just as crucial as any other aspect of ITSM.
Here are some examples:
So does your audience need to understand all of the components that make a clock work, or do they simply need to know the time? Effective communication relies on knowing the difference.