My Tweak is Your Monkey Wrench

January 24, 2010

This post isn’t just about Marketing. It’s about workplace etiquette in a world where work is complex and requires relying on people who know how to do things that we don’t. People like your mechanic, your Web developer, your accountant…even, sometimes, your marketer.

Because surfing the Web doesn’t make you an expert on Web design any more than watching NASCAR qualifies you to change a spark plug. You know what you want and that’s fine. Don’t assume, though, that because the change looks small to you it’s actually a small change request. Which means this: unless you know exactly how much work is involved, don’t call it a ‘tweak’.

We use the word ‘tweak’ to convey ‘I don’t think this is a big deal.’ Sometimes, though, it is. We don’t know the difference because we aren’t the ones who know how to do that work.

So I suggested requesting ‘changes’ rather than ‘tweaks’. No one will freak out. In fact, they’ll thank you for letting them assess the size of the requested changes, rather than characterizing what could be several hours of work as a ‘tweak.’

Photo by Dunechaser. And yes, that’s Kaylee Frye as a Playmobil person

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