Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roger That. Over.

In my world, this is the ideal interaction flow for all to-do items. This flow, you'll note, removes the need for all clipboard people.  For the purpose of this.. there are 2 parties. Bob and Jill. Bob writes the text and Jill draws the picture.

1. Bob emails Jill with "Here's the text, Jill. Please draw the picture. It's due by Friday EOD."

2. Jill REPLIES. She writes "Roger that, Bob. I will have it done by Friday at the latest."

3a. By Friday at 5pm, Jill finishes the picture, copies Bob on her submission. Everyone is happy.

3b. If at some point, Jill realizes that there's no way all that picture can get done, she emails Bob AS SOON AS SHE KNOWS, saying "Bob, I have had a catastrophic pencil failure and at this point can't see a way to get this done before Tuesday at Noon."

Again, everyone remains fully informed.

Most of the time, the Jills never reply. And because Bob has to re-email Jill a few times to get confirmation, the Friday deadline is rarely met. At a minimum, Bob worries about it, since he can't get Jill to reply. If the deadline is unmet often enough, Bob will start telling Jill that the deadline is actually 48 hours earlier, to account for Jill's tardiness or lack of responsiveness.

When Bob starts working with Jacqui, she will get 48 hour earlier deadlines, and harassing emails, because Bob is used to that. And it will take Jacqui's concerted effort to change that. So, Jill not only messed up her relationship, but that of others as well. All because the normal behavior of call and respond were not observed.


SchrefflerFamily said...

In my world, we don't want all that Roger That email responses. Mailboxes are already overflowing with emails and that would just assure more emails will get lost in the midst of emails that don't matter.

The only reason I (or my boss) wants a response is if there is a problem/you need more time/etc.

PD said...

For a lot of clipboards, IM is the only way they do work. They run so many IM conversations, like 4-5 at once, that it becomes a behavior pattern where amongst clipboards, only IM is used for getting work done and they never have time to respond to email because they are always getting interruptions.