Project Communication, Translating Technical Jargon

Project managers often act as translators between technical and non-technical project team members. For example, team members all use English as their first language, but they can encounter communication problems when conveying project expectations due to the differences in design vocabulary and technical vocabulary.
It is important that non-technical people feel they are intelligent and valued members of the team. It is also important that technical members of the staff do not come off as elitist just because there is a difference in how ideas are communicated.

Project managers always want to encourage open communication while avoiding misconceptions and misunderstandings. It is the project manager’s job to often facilitate this communication by listening to and meeting with the project drivers – and at times the end users – who are usually non-technical people. The conversations with non-technical team members are invaluable because simply listening or even being shown what users deal with on a daily basis, can lead to project improvements that no one originally thought about.

Once a project manager gathers the project information and examples from non-technical team members they need to process the data and translate it into technical speak containing the specificity required by the technical staff to develop solutions.

Staying agile during this process is also invaluable because as the project nears completion and team members start to see examples of what is being developed and begin testing, new ideas can be discovered. The project driver may want certain items or improvements added into the mix before the project is considered completed, and fast translation of any new information is essential to meeting deadlines.

No matter what, open and frequent communication during technical project management is a key component because it keeps team members connected. The relationship between all of the technical and non-technical staff is needed to achieve project success, and the project manager is at the center of the process to make sure everyone understands each other, shakes hands, and gets along.

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