Golden Rules for Program Managers: #3

Create clarity out of confusion.

I learned this skill from Master PM Pat Hill.

Quite often people take a simple matter and convolute it beyond recognition. A good program manager can recognize when this has happened, untangle it all, and achieve clarity for the whole team. It can be surprisingly hard!

Here a few tactics that are helpful when trying to untangle almost any situation:
- Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant data.
- Ask questions, lots of questions.
- Paraphrase what you've understood to make sure you're on track.
- Speak in simple English (or whatever language you're using). People around you will follow suit.
- Question assumptions.
- When you think you've untangled the issue be sure to check with others to make sure you really have.

Comments:

Yep, simple English needed :P What does 'red herrings ' means? :P o/

Posted by Fabio on April 28, 2006 at 02:58 PM CST #

Oh Fabio, you are so right. Thanks for pointing that out! A red herring is a fact that seems relevant but actually isn't. And by "throwing them back" I'm referring to the way you throw back a fish you've caught if it's too small. I will update my blog though so it's more clear. :)

Posted by melanie on April 29, 2006 at 01:36 AM CST #

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