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What is Osmotic Communication?
The Flaws in Accidentally Overhearing Information
Imagine a scenario where you are at work. You work in an Open Office
environment with a co-located team. You are trying hard to concentrate on
your work, but everyone around you is talking.
Later on you go to lunch where your manager stops you to tell you about
proposed changes related to your project work.
Suddenly, from the back of your mind you remember something you heard
while sitting in your team room. You tell your manager that you think the
customer rejected the proposed changes, you heard people talking about it
earlier.
You have experienced Osmotic Communication.
Osmotic
Communication Is:
The accidental overhearing of
background information that may
later end up being important.
Why Weren’t You Directly
Told?
 Osmotic Communication is a symptom of a flawed
communication plan
 It is caused by laziness, lack of proactive communication,
and/or lack of a communication plan
 It is often touted as a benefit of co-located teams
 But how can accidentally learning about important and
relevant information be something you want to rely on?
 Do you really want to base your communication on random
occurrences?
What Would Happen If You
Didn’t Accidentally Overhear
the Information?
Osmotic
Event
If an Osmotic Event occurs it should be looked at
as a failure in your communication
It should be included in your continuous
improvement objectives
NO ONE on your teams should have to
accidentally overhear important and relevant
information in order to be effective at their job
Reduce
Osmotic
Events
Identify
Identify occurrences of accidental information reliance and treat it as you
would any quality issue and work to prevent its reoccurrence
Improve Improve information radiators
Train and
Enforce
Train on and enforce the communication plan
Create Create a plan for purposeful and proactive communication
More Information
 What is Osmotic Communication? - https://agile-mercurial.com/2019/01/26/what-
is-osmotic-communication/
 Osmotic Communication: Flawed Communication Practices - https://agile-
mercurial.com/2018/07/23/osmotic-communication-is-a-symptom-of-a-flawed-
process/
Joshua Render
https://agile-mercurial.com

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What is Osmotic Communication?

  • 1. What is Osmotic Communication? The Flaws in Accidentally Overhearing Information
  • 2. Imagine a scenario where you are at work. You work in an Open Office environment with a co-located team. You are trying hard to concentrate on your work, but everyone around you is talking. Later on you go to lunch where your manager stops you to tell you about proposed changes related to your project work. Suddenly, from the back of your mind you remember something you heard while sitting in your team room. You tell your manager that you think the customer rejected the proposed changes, you heard people talking about it earlier. You have experienced Osmotic Communication.
  • 3. Osmotic Communication Is: The accidental overhearing of background information that may later end up being important.
  • 4. Why Weren’t You Directly Told?  Osmotic Communication is a symptom of a flawed communication plan  It is caused by laziness, lack of proactive communication, and/or lack of a communication plan  It is often touted as a benefit of co-located teams  But how can accidentally learning about important and relevant information be something you want to rely on?  Do you really want to base your communication on random occurrences?
  • 5. What Would Happen If You Didn’t Accidentally Overhear the Information?
  • 6. Osmotic Event If an Osmotic Event occurs it should be looked at as a failure in your communication It should be included in your continuous improvement objectives NO ONE on your teams should have to accidentally overhear important and relevant information in order to be effective at their job
  • 7. Reduce Osmotic Events Identify Identify occurrences of accidental information reliance and treat it as you would any quality issue and work to prevent its reoccurrence Improve Improve information radiators Train and Enforce Train on and enforce the communication plan Create Create a plan for purposeful and proactive communication
  • 8. More Information  What is Osmotic Communication? - https://agile-mercurial.com/2019/01/26/what- is-osmotic-communication/  Osmotic Communication: Flawed Communication Practices - https://agile- mercurial.com/2018/07/23/osmotic-communication-is-a-symptom-of-a-flawed- process/ Joshua Render https://agile-mercurial.com