It’s about communication and it’s about agreement.
Not necessarily agreement that what we’re doing is the right thing, although that can be extremely helpful. I’m talking agreement that when someone mentions a term, everyone has the same picture in their head about what that term means and why it’s relevant to their product.
Building shared understanding is tough. So tough in fact that it’s easy to forget that once you’ve built it, you need to put work in to make sure you keep that shared understanding among your team as you continue to work.
In this week’s KBPUpdate, I share some ways that you can help your team maintain shared understanding.
Kent J. McDonald
Are We Really on the Same Page?
In this week’s blog post, I examine a recent Slack conversation to look at some ways you can help your team maintain that shared understanding you worked so hard to build.
There may be other issues with Group Chat
Shared understanding requires good communication. Good communication requires the right mechanism for the right occasion. Group chat may not be the best mechanism for all occasions.
Since I can’t see you, I’m not sure what page you’re on…
Keeping people on the same page is hard enough when you actually see each other on a regular basis, It’s even more difficult when you’re hanging out in different places and different times. Eugene Fedorenko shared some tips for keeping the communication up between remote team members, which is essential for maintaining a shared understanding.
Gymnasts or Hockey Players? Shared Understanding about your level of collaboration
Not only is it helpful to have shared understanding about what you are doing, but also about how you do it. This post from hbr.org looks at the two key elements of team design – the degree to which team members are interdependent and how you’ll coordinate that interdependence.
To Stay on the Same Page, it Helps to use the Same Words.
It’s tough to have a shared understanding if you can’t even agree to what words you’re going to use. Eric Evans coined the term ubiquitous language to refer to everyone working on a product using the relevant business language for that product.
If you have questions or want to share your experiences with maintaining shared understanding, please share in the comments below.
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I’m also putting the finishing touches on my ebook Product Ownership in the Wild, so watch the KBPUpdate for an announcement of when it’s available.