Building a Shared Vocabulary

So much about communication is being able to agree on the same ideas. 

It doesn’t matter if you agree on a subject, what’s important is that you agree on what the subject is.

There’s a non-trivial difference in each individual’s mental models of the world. What is gun control? What is poverty? What is financial intelligence? 

When you’re working with people, it’s critical to reach a mutually understood architecture for ideas to pass through.

There is no chance you are building the right software unless the entire team has a shared understanding of precisely what it is you’re talking about.

It would be best if you, and your team, groomed your vocabulary on the subject regularly. Make sure your client has the same definition for standard terms and systems.

There are hundred of thousands of words in the english language, and that’s just the dictionary.

When you add technology, acronyms and bespoke system designs, it’s not reasonable to assume everyone on a project has an identical understanding of what each thing is, means, or stands for. These are technical terms, and there are subtle differences in the way they are applied. It doesn’t matter what the vocabulary is; it’s about what it means.

On most projects, it is worth your time to compile a glossary or similar documentation with standard terms and their definitions. Your project’s glossary helps to get everyone on the same page and is especially useful when new people are getting started with the project.


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