Collaborating with tech colleagues can be frustrating. You can’t simply ask a discrete question and get a one-and-done response and run back to your desk. Instead, you and that tech colleague subsequently engage in a series of questions and answers.
In your non-technical mind, you feel ill-prepared to respond to the seemingly endless string of queries tech colleagues fire at you. “Don’t they understand what I am asking them?” In their minds, you are collaborating! “Wow, this non-technical colleague understands how tech collaboration is done!”
In your non-technical mind, you feel the breadth and depth of your intelligence is challenged every time you ask tech colleagues a seemingly simply question. “This is like taking the SAT exam again and screwing up those math and science questions.” In their minds, tech colleagues are attempting to refine the parameter space of your question. “I need to know precisely what’s involved in order to organize data sets and utilize an algorithm that delivers exactly the type of information required to make that business decision.”
In science and mathematical modeling, the parameter space describes the set of all possible combinations of numeric values, or other measurable factors. defining a system or sets of conditions of operation.
Get over it.
Tweet this: “#Tech colleagues are not short-order #analytics cooks working in a database diner.” @babettetenhaken #workforce #collaboration
We all work and play in a digitally disrupted, data-driven business ecosystem. Technology is a ubiquitous component in all of our lives. Using and leveraging effective and predictive analytics is the key to creating customer success.
Here are 3 Tech Collaboration Hacks to make collaborating with tech colleagues more effective and rewarding – for you both.
- Tech colleagues are skeptical about everything. Don’t take their skepticism personally. Tech colleagues are continuously looking for the right solution. They are used to having the right answers. They engage other tech colleagues in continual question-and-answer exchanges to validate the logic of project specifications. That’s because the type of data generated and selected for analysis can result in multiple conclusions with ambiguous implications.
- Avoid conversational ambiguity. Pay attention to word choices when collaborating with tech colleagues. When you say “precisely” as a form of agreement, your tech colleague translates that into “precisely these measurements and specifications.” Tech colleagues “wrestle” with your word choices to determine “what you need” until you both, collaboratively, arrive at the most concise way of describing “what you need.” Then tech colleagues wrestle with the type of algorithm offering the most precise pathway to achieve that outcome for you.
- Research the types of business decisions you need to make before you ask tech colleagues to get to work. Tech colleagues are not short-order analytics cooks working in a database diner. They need to understand the context into which analytics will be incorporated. Describe the business case for your request. Facilitate their understanding of the non-technical, big-picture implications of their analytics. Talk about how the current project you are both working on ties into larger data-driven business issues.
Tomorrow’s workforce is structured around the power of technical, engineering and manufacturing colleagues to engage productively, profitably and creatively with non-technical teams within the workplace. The business value of your teams translates into engaging, powerful and compelling customer success stories.
Tomorrow’s workforce is cross-functional, collaborative, multi-generational and engaged. Think about your own career trajectory. How is your inability to effectively collaborate with tech colleagues getting in the way of your next career move?
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, professional development coach, analyst and content creator. She is the Founder and President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®,LLC. Babette has one of the most distinctive voices in today’s workforce, professional development and customer success communities. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing technical and non-technical employees focused on customer success. She catalyzes compelling strategies and processes for cross functional communication and collaboration. She is the author of Do YOU Mean Business? – her playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks to drive revenue through your organization.