Michel and Els brought it up. So many people in IT use words they hardly understand and when they do they don’t take the time to explain the basics.

TMN: stands for This Means Nothing. I use it in meetings where people use 3 letter words all the time and I have the feeling not everyone understands them.
When I get that feeling I say something like.

“I agree with you, but did you think about TMN? “

A lot of people just continue without loosing a beat, yes, that is not a problem because ….

After a little discussion I ask them what TMN means. When I explain it, they get my point.

In other meetings I will just bluntly say I don’t understand this or that acronym, even if I know it but suspect others don’t. In a lot of meetings I get different answers from different persons. Usually when they agree what the 3 letter word means, the other discussions are over.
I don’t mind making a fool of myself if that means I save the face from someone else. In my experience, TMN works better because people realize more there is a problem with using acronyms without explaining them.

That is why on the projects I coach, I ask to make a list of all the abbreviations. It gives a lot of discussions at the beginning of the project, but it saves a lot of anger afterwards.

Tags van Technorati: Acronyms,TMN







2 Responses to “TMN: An unknown three letter word, to check if people know what they are talking about.”

  1. […] seniors people. They have the advantage of being excused not to know. I blogged before about the TMN acronym.  The questions a junior asks go way beyond […]