I can’t seem to get what I need from a particular client. I can’t explain the details without boring you, so I’ll write a parable-slash-metaphor thing that might explain it, and bore you that way.
Let’s say the client has agreed to provide Bryan with directions to the theater. They hand Bryan a list of streets. As Bryan reads over the list, the client begins to say things like:
- We just put the first letter of each street name – do want them actually spelled out?
- Do you need to know every single street, or just the main ones?
- Does it matter what order we listed the streets in?
- Did you need to know which way to turn on each street?
- Should we specify how far to go on each segment?
- Are you going all the way to the theatre, or just part of the way?
- How about this street? Do you need to know the name of this street? Do you need it spelled out as well?
- Which streets did you need again? The ones between here and the theater?
I kid you not, that’s exactly what it’s been like. And they don’t just ask once, they ask the same questions again the next day, when I ask for directions to the supermarket.I want to shout: Yes, I need ALL the information you have. No, I didn’t stop needing it overnight. What is wrong with you people?
I shouldn’t whine. They’re all really nice people and I like them. But although we've been over it at least four times, I’ve clearly done a terrible job communicating what I need and why…