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How to talk

Every now and then someone writes a really good document on interacting with non-techies for techies. Here’s one about giving status reports. As I changed from a techie into a manager with delusions of techieness, I could feel myself beginning to want the strange things Richard Threadgill talks about therein.

3 Comments

  1. That’s a lot of great advice, but one thing he doesn’t mention in the (several) “Silence is bad” sections is how absolutely vital it is to proactively communicate your status when you have dotted-line relationships. It’s a symptom of growth that more and more dotted-line relationships occur, which tends to produce engineers who are confused about where their time should be spent, and managers who are confused about where their engineers are spending their time. Without regular status reports, that can easily blow up – especially if the top-down communication about priorities has been lacking.

    Did I really type “proactively communicate your status” up there? Maybe I should get on the management track, myself.

  2. That’s a lot of great advice, but one thing he doesn’t mention in the (several) “Silence is bad” sections is how absolutely vital it is to proactively communicate your status when you have dotted-line relationships. It’s a symptom of growth that more and more dotted-line relationships occur, which tends to produce engineers who are confused about where their time should be spent, and managers who are confused about where their engineers are spending their time. Without regular status reports, that can easily blow up – especially if the top-down communication about priorities has been lacking.

    Did I really type “proactively communicate your status” up there? Maybe I should get on the management track, myself.

  3. Ouch. Double-post – another sure sign that I’m on the road to management. Next thing you know, I’ll be sending my email to the shared printer.

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