Martha Tong, a Project Manager, emphasizes the importance of clear communication and understanding at the outset of a project, particularly when collaborating across different teams or sectors. Here's a breakdown of her main points:
Differences in Similar Sectors: Martha acknowledges that while two sectors (in this case, NPI and Customs) might seem similar at a surface level, there are inherent differences.
Distinct Drivers: She highlights that these sectors, even if they are related, are driven by different motivations and objectives (i.e., "drivers"). For instance, what drives a postal sector might be entirely different from what drives a customs sector.
Early Conversations Are Crucial: A significant point she makes is about the importance of having initial discussions to understand the motivations and objectives of each party involved. Early alignment can prevent a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions down the line.
Dangers of Assumptions: Martha laments that assumptions were made without clear discussions. Such assumptions can be harmful because they can lead to misalignment, misunderstandings, and could prolong the project unnecessarily.
Rebuilding Trust: Due to the aforementioned assumptions and lack of early communication, Martha notes that there was a need to rebuild trust and confidence. This extra effort and time could have been avoided had there been clear discussions at the beginning.
In essence, Martha Tong stresses the value of understanding and clear communication at the beginning of a project, particularly when different sectors or teams are involved. She highlights the pitfalls of making assumptions and the additional effort required to rectify resulting misunderstandings.