The Importance of Communication with Management

Paul Mah

I was scanning through some press releases yesterday when one of them caught my attention. It was basically an announcement trumpeting the sponsoring organizations' use of text messages. Provided it makes sense, the use of text messages is a move that I can heartily agree with. Indeed, I feel strongly that companies should leverage them, and have written on how text messages might be used in the SMB, as well as suggesting ways to overcome cost barriers to implementing the use of text messages.


What the press release evoked in me, though, were experiences that reminded me just how important it is for IT or MIS departments to maintain in constant communication with management.


From an incident that I witnessed, I have come to realize that communications between IT and management is an area where an SMB is either strong or completely lacking. You see, while it is easy for a tech-savvy director or manager to understand the vital role that information technology might play with their company, it is also equally likely for a technologically ignorant executive to utterly fail in grasping it.


This can be disastrous, especially in a recession where SMBs might be forced to minimize cost and reduce overheads. Below is a list of some disasters that might happen in the absence of proper communications:

  • Crucial purchases such as replacement hard disk drives or back-up media might be vetoed or delayed
  • Important bills are overlooked or skipped
  • Key suppliers - as opposed to ancillary ones - might be paid late, leading to delays in services


Let me share an anecdote that should help you understand the picture better.


One SMB in my career as an IT professional went through a pocket of hard times. No jobs were cut, fortunately, though some belt-tightening was in order. What happened was that the general manager had to make some decisions on which bills to delay. Not comprehending the purpose of a new -- and rather expensive -- item in the mobile bill, he decided to put off paying it.


Unfortunately, the payment that was deferred was for the message charges incurred by the newly installed text messaging service, which incidentally replaced the anarchic paging system that has since been decommissioned. As you can imagine, the mobile provider was quick to pull the plug off this new customer that has just delayed on a hefty, initial bill.


Fortunately, the temporary lapse in service was rectified relatively quickly, though not with some hassle and red faces all-around. Yet more than anything, I believe this incident clearly illustrates my point on the importance of clear and constant communications between IT and management.

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