What Does That Mean?

April 8, 2008

As I describe in my About page, I have chosen the overall theme in this blog to write for non-technology managers in the small business / medium business space about technology issues and their relationship with the business.

As an owner, partner or manager in the SMB space, would you tolerate a conversation with your controller, financial auditor, or financial officer that sounded like gibberish to you?

I doubt it. I would be willing to bet that if there is something you are not understanding, that you will dig (and keep digging) until you have a clear understanding of the issue.

So why do so many accept the same sort of techno babble gibberish from the IT side? The technology world (like finance and so many others) can be laced with jargon. Jargon is fine when IT staff are talking to each other, but there is no place for it in business discussions.

If you are offered a statement something like this;

“.. for that CRM app we were looking at, our monitoring stats show that with the bandwidth saturation we currently have, it will generate too much latency, so we need <<insert dollar value here>> to upgrade …..”

In fact, if you happen to be a financial professional, you have my direct permission to respond to a statement like the above with; “So what is the NPV and the estimated effect on EBITDA for this Q and the fiscal?”

Dig, and keep digging until you get an answer in plain English. Keep digging until you understand the real issue, in real English.

Keep digging until the above statement sounds more like;

“…You know how you wanted the sales team to get more time on the phone rather than pushing paper? well we were looking at that online tool we talked about that will get rid of that paper pushing. The problem is, with our old internet connection, opening a document in the tool is as slow as emptying your swimming pool through a garden hose. It is so slow opening a document that the sales team will really have a difficult time trying to use it. In fact, one of the sales staff that helped with the testing said it was actually faster the old manual way….”

Second bet, as a technology manager, if I communicate the issue to you the second way, I bet that you will be the one asking me how much it will cost to get rid of the problem.

Do I win the bet?


One Response to “What Does That Mean?”

  1. […] for heaven’s sake, ensure everyone is speaking English (or your native […]

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