Alarm Clocks And Collaboration On Line
Have you ever bought a piece of equipment that you thought would come in very handy only to leave it lying around for months because you could not figure out how to set it up? Or not set all the functions up, because it would have cost hours to read through the handbook, which looked as if it had been translated by a computer anyway?
Most people have undergone the situation at some time or another. I had an alarm clock once that had dozens of features like waking me up at different times on the weekend to during the week and arbitrarily choosing a radio channel every day to wake me up. It also had a feature with which I could train it to know some voice commands, but I could not be bothered with all that.
I simply wanted it to wake me up whenever I set it. Video recorders are similar devices. How many times do you hear of people setting their video recorder to record a movie only to get a documentary on another channel? It used to occur a lot, didn’t it?
The point that I am getting at here is that the designers of these machines have been told to place as many features as possible into them up to a price in order to be all things to all people. But, in making their machines so convoluted, a lot of people choose not to bother using them at all and will avoid that make in the future, which is the exact opposite of what the manufacturers wanted.
The next time you go out looking for some electrical implement, you will say to yourself: “Oh, So-And-So, you need a diploma to use one by So-And-So. I’m not buying one of theirs”.
So how can this affect you? Well, if you have to coordinate anything that you expect others to take part in or be animated about, try not to make it overly complicated. I am not saying ‘dumb-down’, just don’t show off by putting all the bells and whistles on it merely to show that you can do that. People will not thank you for it, they will take no notice of your project.
This has a fantastic deal of implications for on line projects where people can be thousands of miles apart but still be collaborating on a joint development from home. Open source programming is a fine example of this type of work. The team leaders should keep everything as simple as possible if they want the maximum co-operation.
One technique that you can use to test to see if your venture is being understood is to question. It sounds obvious and it should be, but a lot of team leaders will not question because they reckon that it makes them look weak and unknowledgeable. Again, in fact, the opposite is the case. A excellent team leader is not a tyrant; a excellent team leader is a excellent organizer and is considerate.