It was a foggy morning on my way to the office today and it made me think. There is a lot of fog in what we do every day. Ships have run aground because they couldn’t see the shore. Planes have trouble seeing runways for landings. Even in the wild the fog can make it difficult for prey to see predators and predators to see prey. So how can we navigate through the fog that obscures our vision every day?
What does fog do to our vision?
It reduces the amount of detail we can see.
It reduces the distance we can clearly view.
How can we clear the fog?
The fog we experience every day comes in the forms of poor communication and lack of information. We may have the information we need, but we are typically bad at relaying that information to those that need it thereby reducing the amount of detail others can see. Lack of information limits our field of vision. As project leaders we need to constantly be in the pursuit of information and passing the information effectively to others.
Create the Plan
It is important to have a plan to navigate through the fog and then to eliminate it. Here are a few pointers.
Actively seek information not just at the start of a project but throughout. New information may be discovered and some information may become outdated. Make sure you have a plan on how to actively locate information when your view is obstructed.
Create a communication program to get the word out to the rest of the team. Talk about what you learn and find ways to get it to the team effectively. Emails, newsletters, meetings, one-on-one talks are all different ways to get the word out. Pick some tools and learn how to use them well. Don’t make it complicated.
Communicate outside the team to solicit for information and to let others know what you are doing and how you are doing it. This communication will help others find you in the fog and will lift the fog for others on why your team is necessary and will be successful.
What are other sources of fog?
How else have you lifted fog for yourself or your team?