Projects fail. That’s a rule. It’s not an exception. It’s a rule.
Projects fail because of unrealistic deadlines, fanciful scope, underestimated complexity, mistakable or incomplete requirements, missing project steering, unmatched expectations, unclear organization or undefined responsibilities. Team members struggle to deliver their parts of the projects. People do not do their tasks and aren’t committed to their duties. And about 1000 other possible reasons.
But often the reason which causes projects to hit the wall is that simple. Team members just don’t know what they should work with or what’s their responsibility. They don’t understand their role and importance of their deliverables. They have no clue what’s expected from them. Why ? Because instructions they get are not clear enough. Not precise enough. Not explicit enough.
As tweeting(*) is hip and microblogging even hotter, rule #44 is: Tweet your instructions.
If you need someone to do something, use a Twitter-style explanation to your order: Short, concrete and precise. If you want someone to take responsibility, tell your expectation in a microblog way: Simple, clear and explicit. If you need someone to deliver, tweet your instructions: Short, exact, simple, concrete, explicit and precises. Max 140 characters or it’s getting too complicated.
A real-life example: During UAT, the project leader sends a long and friendly mail – with lots of 😉 and LOLs – to the developer asking to “(…) please look into the error (…)”. (S)he looks into it. That’s all. Nothing more. (S)he wasn’t told to fix. Not a joke this. It’s a real-file from an integration project with offshore resources from India. Tweeting “please look into issue #XXX and fix it” would have given results. Quite sure.
(*) Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”.