Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Know When to Pick up the Phone

This post’s inspiration comes from another great Staples Blog .

25 years ago I worked at/for I.P. Sharp Associates, pioneers of global email systems, amongst other things.

The team on which I worked had about a dozen members, sitting in about 8 rooms, all within 30 seconds walk of the boardroom.

Projects dragged on for months because consensus was by email.

And since people did not then (and do not now) respond to email the instant it arrives, consensus took time.

The worst case I recall arose when someone discovered “enclosed arrays” and started using them, then passed on the rudimentary skill by email. An email discussion arose, with bugs, problems, novice acts and the whole range of ills that spread like a virus through a team of programmers.

I believed then, and I believe now, that much time and effort would have been saved has the team leader called a 15-minute standing-only meeting in the nearby board room.

Conversation would have taken place in real time with the benefit of a board room.

Instead six months later the debate was still in motion.

It is true today (a quarter century is a long time in computing technology!).

PICK UP THE PHONE if you want a discussion or a dialogue.

Use email to inform.

Want to decide where and when to meet for lunch? Phone and nut out the details. Then send an email confirmation so that you can be sure you are both reading from the same page.

Talk to Me !

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