Business to IT – the translation gap
My career has been driven largely by my ability to recognise the gap between what users (or clients, or employees, or any stakeholders) what, or think they want and what technical staff (networkers, coders, designers, DB developers) want to deliver. The levels of frustration between the two camps used to hit heady heights during the early Internet years – not surprisingly given the fast pace of technology change and the ambitious plans of customers based on hyperbolic news articles during the dotcom crazy years. Each was operating based on the news and trends used within their niches (for techies and creatives: Creative Review, Wired, .Net, … for our clients they were the standard industry papers, depending on their sector: Timber Trades Journal, TES, BMJ, Industry Week – the list was endless. )
Understandably – the tech teams wanted to push forward the latest and greatest, and coolest, that’s what turned them on, that’s how these self taught IT wizards came to be operating at this level – no University courses existed to give them these cutting edge skills. By contrast, the clients wanted what had already happened, because that’s what *they* knew – they relied on recent launches, on already proven successes.
There’s a fix though! Motivation is the common bond – it’s a cliche, but it applies here: look for the win win situation, usually via a mediator such as an account manager or business relationship manager that understands the drivers on both sides. The right person can translate the requirements, and the blockers and most importantly piece together a common path that each side cares about.