Today’s tip may sound obvious but you must train yourself to live by the principle ‘Assume Nothing’ because it’s so easy to drop into lazy thinking and miss something important.

Listen for people including ‘should’ in explanations. This is often a giveaway that they don’t know for sure and is a prompt for a good Project Manager or Analyst to get the detail checked.

In systems and business analysis there is a related principle of ‘go and see for yourself’.

If you are ultimately accountable for the successful outcome of a business process go and do a walkthrough with the staff who do the job day to day and hear directly what they have to say.

In all my years I’ve never found this to be anything but beneficial and a good use of time. At the very least the staff will welcome being consulted directly.