Award-winning author, dynamic keynote speaker, trusted advisor, & workplace tech expert 


On Success, Clarity, and Simplicity

Partners, employees, and vendors cannot successfully deploy new technologies while confused.
Sep | 8 | 2015


Sep | 8 | 2015

There’s no shortage of “as-a-service” terms infecting permeating the tech and business landscapes these days. Troll around the web or a social-media site for a few minutes and you’ll find a gaggle of terms both established/understood and wholly contrived. I’d put SaaS in the former category and confusing neologisms such as BDaaS and MBaaS in the latter.

It’s completely out of hand. I’m just waiting for the birth of “service as a service.”

Oh, wait. It already exists.

In the past, I’ve been very critical of the increasing prevalence of tech jargon and term inflation both on my site and on others. I felt so strongly about the subject that I penned a book about it. Message Not Received argues for the simplest possible language in the business world.

What’s the harm?

You might be thinking, What’s the harm of using a few buzzwords to define projects? Is business jargon really as pernicious as you suggest?

Put simply, buzzwords inhibit effective business communication.

Put simply, buzzwords inhibit effective business communication. Bad communication costs organizations a great deal of time and money, never mind squandered opportunities and lost market share from increasingly nimble competitors.

But don’t take my word for it. Consider the 2013 Pulse of the Profession™ In-Depth Report: The Essential Role of Communications by the Project Management Institute (PMI). From it:

Poor or substandard communications accounts for more than half of the money at risk on any given project. [C]ompanies risk $135 million for every $1 billion spent on a project. The new research indicates that $75 million of that $135 million (56 percent) is put at risk by ineffective communications, indicating a critical need for organizations to address communications deficiencies at the enterprise level. Respondents also reported that ineffective communications is the primary contributor to project failure one third of the time, and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time.

To be sure, excessive jargon represents only one cause of poor business communications. Relying too much upon e-mail and language/cultural differences are also major culprits. Be that as it may, though, I fail to see how deploying any new technology can be successful if stakeholders (re: employees, vendors, developers, and partners) are not on the same page. I’d wager that the organizations that embrace clarity and simplicity are far more successful than their unclear counterparts.

Simon Says: Your organization is unlikely to be successful without clarity and simplicity.

Partners and clients cannot successfully deploy new technologies while confused about what they are doing, how they are doing it, and their ultimate objectives. When describing new ideas, products, services, and concepts, use whatever terms you like as long as they are commonly understood.


IBM sponsored this post.

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