KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)

I regularly work with junior Project Managers or Consultants who are learning more about the work that we’re doing and how they learn to be more effective within their roles. One common complaint when working in technical projects is that the client often gets lost in the detail of a certain item. This is when KISS comes into play. KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple and was first introduced by the US Navy in the 1960’s and has been used in Software Development ever since.

When I am working with new consultants, I try to get them to focus their presentations and content to hit the right balance between: concise information and too much. As Developers/ leaders you need to bring the client on a journey with you to let them understand what you need from them, understand what they need from you and what you can do to bridge those gaps.

If I am trying to work through the requirements with a client, I’ll try to make sure that I don’t overwhelm with them knowledge but I try to look at what questions can I ask to make sure that I get the answers/ information that I need from them. This is where KISS comes into focus.

Keeping it short and simple means:

  • Being focused with your questions
  • Asking precise questions
    • E.g. What are you aiming to get out of this functionality for your end users?
  • Time box it (if needed)
    • E.g. What success factors are you looking for in the 4-6 weeks after go live?
  • Understand what you’re trying to do

When working with your clients, it’s important to ensure that you can focus your questions on: how you can get the information that you need and how to not overwhelm your audience.

I’d love to hear what questions you ask towards your team/ customers? or alternatively, which do not work.

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