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Flow the info

In the last post I wrote about assumptions and their effect on team performance. One of the most basic assumptions you often encounter in teams is that others have the same information you do. Hence, the second principle:

Share all relevant information

Let’s take an example – the traditional requirements gathering phase. The Business Analyst sits with the business person while they explain what they want this new system to do. The analyst takes notes and documents what they believe the business said. They then take this documentation back to the business, who, when reading someone else’s interpretation of what they said, realise that there were quite a few things that they forgot to mention that were in their head that would’ve made their requirements clearer.

When these docs are signed off and given to the developer to build from, the developer looks on in amazement at the analyst, wondering where all the detail they need is. So the analyst and developer make a trip to the business to get the info they need. The relevant information here is that which the developer needs to turn the requirement into a system.

The Agile solution to this problem is to remove unnecessary handoffs and potential miscommunication by simply having everyone work together full-time through the entire process. This way the team can make it clear what information would be relevant to them to help each other start sharing it more.

A key point to make is the use of the word ‘relevant’. Oversharing is not constructive. If it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Only share what is needed to progress the discussion or the work at hand. Anything more is waste.

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