“What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” What good is a blog post without an obligatory “Cool Hand Luke” quote, right? For fans of the movie, the aforementioned quote is spoken by multiple characters in the 1967 film, including the evil prison warden and our hero himself, played by Paul Newman.
The quote is timely because, as we all know, when communication falls apart, bad things happen. In IT Consulting, we’re thinking along the lines of IT projects (believe it or not).
It goes like this. Traditionally speaking, a business user – say, a salesperson or a manager of a line unit – rings up IT and says, “Our CRM system stinks. Can you do better?” Or, of course, the inverse is true: IT knocks on a business manager’s door and says, “Our CRM system stinks – we can do better.”
Either way, it kicks off a line of communication in which any errors become magnified – and they’re not cheap to fix. Errors result from a “business person” failing to intelligently or accurately articulate what they’re looking for, in terms of functionality, time-to-market, usability, etc. Conversely, IT – for lack of a better term – fails to speak the “business language.” They’re less concerned with P&L and more concerned with network connectivity.
This “failure to communicate” is a root cause of many IT project failures, and IT consulting should acknowledge that fact. Advice should be predicated on the idea that work is fluid, with multiple personalities, communication styles, and levels of expectation – it can’t be guided from some consulting manual.
In other words, better communication yields better, more cost-effective results. And successful IT consultants should provide the tools to help you get there.
Cool Hand Luke and all of its treasures are the property of Warner Brothers’ Studios.