The right terminology for the right audience

For those who has the privilege of being in the technology consulting industry for some time and started out in the technical side of things, remember those books or courses that teach about methodology or best practices?

For example, for project management, you need to specify a requirements gathering stage, done by the Business Analyst, the specifications stage, solutioning stage, project planning stage, development stage, unit testing stage, integration stage, iterate between development, unit testing and integration stage again and again, user acceptance testing stage, go live, application support, re-look at the lifecycle …. zzzzzzz…

Thing is most of the time I find that business users don’t really care for these terms. I recently simplified it (a lot!), and my boss still removed the words “user acceptance” in the testing stage. Eyes start to glaze over when explaining the various stages to business users thinking they would appreciate to know how structured I was. (Guess they weren’t that interested after all)

If you are a developer, and your audience are technical integrators or project managers, then by all means expand on these terms. Otherwise, users want to hear things using words from their world. (Things like YoY, MoM, Revenue, PPI, KPI for finance and operations, or production performance, keywords search results for others.)

Point is: Tailor your communication to your audience. (And this applies to developers too – especially developers who love to use your developer world terms. :) ) ┬áBasically use what is useful and gets the point across clearly and concisely.

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