Communicating About Plans and Progress

Oct 12th, 2002 by Tony in QSM2

People need to communicate. Even when there is no task to be done, they communicate for the simple pleasure of being in touch with others. The worst punishment in prison is solitary confinement, and prisoners always find ways to communicate with others when they are placed in solitary, even if they have to tap messages through walls, one bit at a time. In software organizations, managers are sometimes horrified by the amount of communication that takes place. They may come to believe that their project is late because people are spending too much time communicating, rather than doing “real work”. Armed with this false belief, they erect barriers to communication, but thankfully these barriers never work perfectly. People manage to get the information they need, but at a much slower rate – so the project actually becomes even later.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 2, Chapter 17

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