Daily Archives: August 3, 2010

ABZ's of communication for PM's and Techies... K: The KISS principle

With communication accounting for over 80% of a project manager’s time, the importance of GOOD communication cannot be overlooked.

K: K.I.S.S.=Keep it simple stupid!

While we can become divided by the fact that English is a common language with many variations, acronyms further complicate things.  Every client I visit is overrun with TLA’s and FLA’s that create barriers to the very communication they intended to make easier.

What is a TLA and a FLA?

TLA is a Three Letter Acronym and FLA stands for Four Letter Acronym. And, to make matters worse, the meaning behind such acronyms is often lost on even the most savvy users – in fact, sometimes even the original words are forgotten by the most frequent users.

Keep your communication clear, concise and easy to understand by avoiding acronyms.  If you must use one, make sure to include the words that make up the acronym in parentheses behind its first use.

Acronym usage is so prevalent in government and corporate environments that many organizations now publish “acronym guides” to explain the various (and often conflicting) words behind the various three and four letter combinations. (The only problem that I find with such guides is that they are specific to a particular industry or government group, and the lists themselves abound with further acronyms.)  For example:



The best advice is to avoid acronyms all together, and if you can’t due to widespread use or industry familiarity – at least make sure to embed its meaning when it is first used.  We can’t stop the spread of acronyms, but we have a duty to make them meaningful to our audiences!

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers
email: dekkers@qualityplustech.com

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit www.fisma.fi (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Helsinki and other locations in 2010, visit www.qualityplustech.com.

=======Copyright 2010, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =======