These days I find that just being technical doesn’t cut the mustard, back in the early days of my career I would speak to most people as if they knew what WINS and DNS was or I would explain how TCPIP works and that is why they can not connect to a server or why the business needed HSRP to improve redundancy on their WAN links. After watching many people look at me with great despair I adapted and started to speak in normal everyday laymen terms, so I learnt to dull it down and turn down the techie inside.
The funny thing is that I still see this level of communication and interaction with the business. Only yesterday I was asked by a senior manager to “translate” an e-mail from a colleague which just confused and frustrated the manager as all she wanted was a simple answer.
Another typical techie approach I see is jumping straight into the technology to see what new features it has and how the GUI has changed. Instead there are all the other questions that should be asked like;
What is the business goal or process that I am trying to implement/improve?
What is the business benefit that can be gained from said technology?
What do we do today in the business and what technology do we have to enable this function, how well does that perform?
What are the operational issues/situations?
From there you can begin to write a strategy or specification and actually have some level of focus on what you are doing. I see so many people just get lost in the technology and forget what it is they are trying to do in the first place.
Why not give it a go when your next asked to look at a solution, ask some different questions, think in a different way and translate the strategy to technology.