I have the distinct pleasure of spending a short time each week with a handful of kids, most often middle school age. I learn a lot from them: for example, thanks in part to text messaging, teens have even more acronyms than the software industry — which is astounding!
Hearing them banter about one of those acronyms “TMI” got me thinking. TMI strictly means “Too Much Information”, but also carries the connotation of some fact or piece of information that the party didn’t want or need to know.
Several of our recent blog posts, including Soni’s No One Likes a Cheater and my tree-ring in a Forest postings, have ultimately been about needing more information — detailed facts, insights and transparency about the project as a whole. This is much more information than what any individual doing their specific, assigned task wants or needs. Some just want to get the contractors paid so they stay happy and on the job. Or they just need to keep the RFIs and submittals flowing. If you allow each party to work in a vacuum, they might get their personal job done darn quickly, but costs are not recaptured, details slip through the cracks and bad things happen down the line. If you try to take manual processes and keep everyone in the loop, well, most of them will start crying (internally or externally) TMI, TMI! And things still slip through the cracks.
Your organization needs tools that allow primary tasks to be accomplished in a centralized manner without creating an undue burden on those performing those tasks. Productivity is then maintained while available information increases — often dramatically!
So, next time somebody claims that it’s “just too much information”, turn to something like the Spitfire Project Management System to add process structure and better data organization. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make.