There is a reason that hearsay conversations are not admissible in court. Why? Because they do not contain information that can be trusted. They are neither dependable nor reliable. To get the truth, we have to go to the source.
Projects tend to stumble when Project Managers rely on information that is passed along through chains of conversations. Every time something is retold, details are left out and the information changes.
For example, we have an off-site storage unit that we decided to stop using. Person “A” told person “B”, who told person “C”, who told person “D” that the unit had “one last item” and was ready to be emptied. But, when the team arrived to remove that item, they discovered a huge pile of boxes and supplies that filled the unit.
How could that happen? Do we have a bunch of liars in our organization? Was this malicious? NO! Of course not. We just had unclear communications as the information was passed along.
- Someone probably wasn’t listening to the fine print (“all my stuff is removed…”)
- Someone might have forgot that it was to be removed “after a certain date”
- Someone might have been talking about an adjacent storage unit
As a Project Manager, make sure you:
- Go to the source.
- See it for yourself.
- Make sure.
- Ask questions.
It will save you from stumbling.
Thanks for listening.