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Communication in a Project

So, I’m waiting on hold, watching cut little gifs scribbling away and writing an email and writing this.

My head is exploding. I’ve run major market radio station newsrooms (back when there was radio news). My mom once saw me typing up a news\story, listening as a three-alarm fire became a four-alarm fire, assigning reporters to head out and get something while training an intern how to splice tape. Her head exploded.

I found that switching over to tech writing and ultimately to Business Analysis made for less head explosions and migraines. I can control information in a civilized manner.

IM, Voice (phone or meeting nodes), email and face-to-face are all legitimate means of communication. It’s how and when to use them. Fancy that!


Will this take more than three short paragraphs? (Note: I mean “email” passwords- up to three 15-word sentences)

  • If yes, write an email
  • If not, grab the phone



Has this email thread resulted in more than two go-rounds?

Grab the phone or the virtual IM/Meeting app


Do I need to talk to more than one person?

  • If yes, invite the principals to a meeting:

o     If a decision maker doesn’t make the meeting, close it and reschedule

o     If there’s no agenda, cancel the meeting

·      If no, Grab the phone or the virtual IM/Meeting app

Instant Messaging (IM)

Is this or has this communication taken more than 2 back and forth IMs?

Grab the phone or the virtual IM/Meeting app


Do I still appear to be wasting time because I don’t understand (this is rare for me)?

  • Use video meeting
  • Use Screen sharing
  • Use a whiteboard app
  • IM the boss and vent

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There are rationales for my rules:

Agile processes want discussion as the base means of team communication. Seriously, it works and works well. Trust me, I’m a BA working in a collaboration team.

If I have more than one thought to discuss, an email will just confuse and irritate my reader, ergo (I love that word, ergo), we need a discussion.

If I send such an email, my reader will skim it and respond to the first paragraph (graph as us writers call them)

Then you won’t be called names that mean teammates you can’t understand your emails.

This is not what you want while coaching a SME (Subject Matter Expert) on an epic.

For IM, more than two messages get me into unproductive time- that I can be using for something else. Stop the madness and talk to your correspondent

If there’s no deciders, why are we meeting? For the Danish?

If there’s no agenda, how can I prepare for the meeting? C’mon, I can’t read your mind!

So, you can stop the madness. My rules may not work for you, but it’s a start.

Protect your head. We BAs sort of need them for kick-off meetings and face-to-face SME (Subject Matter Experts) meetings for requirements and rough user stories.