To Reflect: Small, Medium, Large

Keeping with this week’s theme of the power of words – Working with a client this week I was shown an interesting document. It was attempting to link a project’s scoped inclusions to its planned benefits. However, this document wasn’t interesting because of its content – but rather the way it managed to create confusion within this client’s team.

You see, the author had used the words ‘small’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ to represent a scoped item’s level of contribution to a target benefit.

However the rest of this client’s team didn’t grasp that intuitively. Instead they defaulted to reading it as an indicator of the size of the work to be done. The end result of which was at least a couple hours of wasted time due to team misalignment.

So this week remember:

Language comes with social norms. Either respect the norms, or break them intentionally and explicitly. It’s in unintention that the sharks lie.