Too much information can be counter-productive

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75199

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Too much information can be counter-productive

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Yes. The detailed information can, and perhaps should, be captured and documented but certainly there is little reason to present it all upwards and many reasons not to.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • xsevensinzx

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25550

    That's one of those difficult challenges many people face when trying to communicate anything upwards. It can be with a simple email or a extensive plan to move everything to an enterprise architecture.

    I feel that by far, most of the executive leadership teams I've faced in my career do not want to be bogged down by the details. They want everything at a high-level that hopefully covers everything you need in a condensed version that allows them to make a critical business decision.

    At the end of the day, you must understand that you are the expert. Your job is not to convey every detail from A to Z when proposing big change or big ideas to management (unless otherwise specified by them first). You just need to highlight the key components of your proposal and leave the rest of the detail to your team, who will very much need to feed off the granularity as they put the proposal into action from A to Z.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    ...and if they want more detail then they will ask.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • jay-h

    SSCoach

    Points: 18809

    Many years ago as a teenager I worked at a camera store that carried a large variety of models. In my inexperience and enthusiasm I would attempt to discuss the features of a lot of models. Customers would become overwhelmed and walk away, confused.

    My boss, wisely forbade this. His basic rule was, get a sense of what the customer wants, and put three cameras on the counter. That worked much better, both for my own job success and the customers, being able to make a choice.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Orlando Colamatteo

    SSC Guru

    Points: 182269

    When presenting at least I find the rule of 5/3 - 3/5 to be good guidance. There is typically that one manager/director in the room that wants more and I will typically have an appendix in my deck with the full details ready to skip to when the questioning drops into that level of detail. It's all about tailoring the message for easy consumption and foreseeing what your audience might ask when drilling into the details.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________
    There are no special teachers of virtue, because virtue is taught by the whole community. --Plato

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125032

    This reminds me of those two or three occasions, as a teenager, when I would return home with damage to my dad's car. Providing too much information isn't useful in address a problem and only serves to confuse. It's best to only tell people what they need to know and move on. 😀

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75199

    Eric M Russell (1/29/2016)


    This reminds me of those two or three occasions, as a teenager, when I would return home with damage to my dad's car.

    Good news Dad, your airbag works?

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286960

    Nice editorial, David. I suffer from the affliction of providing too much information. I tend to use too many words and explain things in detail. I've been working on it, but I think it's my passion for doing things right that gets in the way. I have a long way to go.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125032

    David.Poole (1/29/2016)


    Eric M Russell (1/29/2016)


    This reminds me of those two or three occasions, as a teenager, when I would return home with damage to my dad's car.

    Good news Dad, your airbag works?

    No, not an airbag deployment accident; more like downplaying the smaller dent on the fender accidents.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    Great article, thanks.

  • RonKyle

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 31462

    These are some of the same principles I learned doing staff work in the Army.

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