Twitter: Maybe Celebrities Can Teach Us a Thing or Two

Celebrities have harnessed the power of Twitter - that’s no secret. Once limited to 140 characters, now 280, they can capture the attention of the world, debut an album or fire a public official. It’s an incredible time in our nation’s history to see such unfiltered, untethered communication. What lessons can we garner from this for business - specifically software design and development?

Twitter Lesson 1: Have and know your audience.

You have great ideas, an incredible design and a viable concept. But you need buy-in from stakeholders or investors in order to move the idea forward. A bit of research goes a long way: what is it your audience expects from you? How will you keep them engaged? How do you capture their attention and interest such that they ‘retweet’ your ideas to others, or at least click the ‘like’ button to show their approval? The Kardashians have mastered this - so can you!

Twitter Lesson 2: Communicate in a timely manner.

We live in a world of news tickers, breaking news, visible and audible alerts on our smartphones - even buzzers on our clothes dryers to let us know it’s time to fold the laundry. If your work product is not delivered with a sense of urgency, in a timely manner, and in a format aligned to your stakeholders’ attention span, you are at a definite disadvantage. Pay attention to the things that get your attention and apply those findings to the way in which you deliver your content.

Twitter Lesson 3: Keep it short and sweet.

Our elected leaders issue policy, agenda and personnel changes in 280 characters or less every day. If decisions that have worldwide implications can be conveyed in such a short message, so can your software requirements. (Note: I’m not a fan of changing public policy via Tweets, but regardless of my approval, it’s happening!) It is critical that you take a pragmatic approach to eliciting, capturing and conveying requirements to your partners on projects. A developer’s attention span is as short as anyone else’s. Avoid the 200 page requirements document and instead write a concise User Story with Acceptance Criteria. At APG, we trace those to an Axure visualization to remove the risk of nearly any ambiguity.

In summary - take lessons from the social media universe and apply them to the way you deliver product inside of the workplace. It might make you the next Kardashian of the office!