On interruptions, common language, and how quick and cheap it can be done


Happy 5W-1h Sunday.

Here’s your dose of What? Who? Where? When? Why? How?, a curation of articles, podcasts and videos that piqued my curiosity this week.


WHAT business problems would benefit from a common language?

Companies and others employ standards to ensure that a meter is the same length world-wide, calendars ensure that everyone shows up for meetings at the same time, and everyone agrees what “payment in US dollars” means.  It is trite, but no less important, to note that without common language, commerce would be impossible.

The Business Case for a Common Language: Not “If,” but “What and When?” | John A. Zachman (Text at IRM UK)

WHO am I improving the process for?

Just using the word ‘process’ tends to imply that a certain viewpoint will be taken, and people may (quite naturally) have certain expectations on how the session will run and what the focus should be. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s easy for conversation to become restricted and siloed.

Think Of The Person, Not Just The Process | Adrian Reed (Text at BA Times)

WHERE will writing better requirements give me value?

Not every manager is convinced that his team needs to do a better job on requirements development and management or that such an investment will pay off. Numerous industry studies, however, indicate that requirements issues are a pervasive cause of project distress.

The Business Value of Better Requirements | Karl Wiegers (Text at Modern Analyst)

WHEN will I get my own work done?

Interruptions can add up. Left unchecked, they can affect focus and cause deadlines to slip. This can make us feel fatigued, frustrated, and guilty because we struggle to manage ourselves or others. These feelings become interruptions in themselves, overwhelming us even more.

Interruptions – 10 Ways to Minimize Stops and Starts | Mind Tools Content Team (Text at MindTools)

WHY are my stakeholders blinded by silver bullets?

Silver bullets should actually be called silver boomerangs – because they just keep coming back. The way to solve our greatest and most persistent problems isn’t glamorous at all – it’s actually quite mundane. Success is best achieved through a multitude of individually unimpressive small shots rather than a single bullet.

Why Do We Believe In Silver Bullet Solutions? | Paul Taylor (Text at Paul Taylor’s Blog)

HOW can I focus more on my stakeholder?

That’s what most people seem to care about. The fastest time, the fewest resources, the lowest rates. Too many organisations spend their time running a time/cost-saving show, trying to get just a little more bargain out of the delivery team. The thing is, if you want it quick and cheap it won’t be good.

How quick and cheap can it be done? | Joe Newbert (Text at Newbert’s Blog)

And, as always, please give feedback on Twitter. Whose piece above stood out for you? What would you like more or less of? Other ideas? Please let me know. Just send a tweet to @joenewbert and put #5W1H at the end so I can find it.

Keep growing.


P.S. Would you attend a workshop about writing business objectives?