In the News

How to Improve Management-to-IT Communications

…Sometimes employees and IT staff don’t know how to properly articulate to each other their needs, the scope of the issues, etc. Jargon may go over management’s heads who just want a technical issue to be solved.

“The biggest challenge in business and IT communications is that the two … are fundamentally different and do not have a common language between them,” said Alan Zucker, founding principal of Project Management Essentials. “When you look at behavior profiles, IT people tend to be more detailed and process-focused than their business counterparts. They also tend to be more introverted. Consequently, they prefer communicating through email, status reports, ticketing systems, etc. Business people tend to be more extroverted and outcome-focused.”

The first step to improved communication and relations is more face-to-face meetings. It’s not uncommon that many employees haven’t met their IT experts in person and only know them by their instant messaging avatar.

“Over 90 percent of communication is nonverbal.  So much context and information is lost when we communicate by electronic means. Well-structured meetings mean that we have agendas that we actually follow,” Zucker said. “Too many times IT and business develop adversarial relationships and all encounters become a contest about who is responsible for any shortcoming. Both [sides] need to remember that they are there to support the enterprise’s mission. Through cooperation and collaboration, they can be successful.”