Translating between the dual languages of advanced technology speak and business terminology is a skill that is more in demand than ever. This week’s blog speaks to technology and business linguist Craig Barrie, Senior Consultant Project Manager who shares his insight into why analysing these two languages and building a bridge between two separate audiences is more important than ever. Read on to discover more about how to champion change.

Why is it so important to translate the requirements of technology solutions to business decision makers and vice versa? Won’t the technology just drive the business changes we need?

One thing that I have learnt through the two decades of experience in this industry in various roles is that language is more than ever determined by the demographic. So for the generation that is very comfortable with advanced technology requirements and ‘speak’ they assume that those around them also have the same level of understanding and therefore both want to, and can, keep up with the pace of discussions, decisions and implementation that they set. As most of the project sponsors don’t fall into this group, they are the more senior business decision makers – they don’t speak the same language.

So post-SuperStream implementation why is this going to be so important? Haven’t we moved beyond the largest hurdles?

Well in one word, no. We are now entering the world of ongoing innovation whereby technology can continue to evolve and innovate the business efficiencies and opportunities both industry and superannuation members need. For the technology translators this needs a holistic view and it is important to understand the pain points that the audience will need to go through to plan and deliver a business outcome. For the project sponsors it is recommended that you question the journey and understand the milestones that you need to make to complete the project. The end result is no longer one single focus; there will be requirements along the way to assess and refine budgets, implementation issues and over runs. You need to stay up to date with technology in order to understand it.

So where is this going to take us in the coming years?

We are at a transition point right now. The language for technology and business is both talking about the single journey that customers need. It’s not technology or business outcomes, it is really about how you can transform how and what you deliver to customers. This needs both sides of the discussion to take the time to understand the strategy behind project delivery and identify the gaps that may happen in the process. This is where the customer service glitches may appear, and this is what you both want to avoid. So the goal is to avoid the disconnect. Projects sponsors come forward and investigate what you are doing and IT teams – step up and focus on the whole user experience, not just your component.

How do you build a career in this environment?

Become or find a mentor. That’s my best advice. The way we do business in the super industry is now more personalised and this will continue. Members or customers will drive this process and we need to focus on creating more open dialogue with colleagues to effect the change that people require. I see great opportunity for those technology and business experts that can keep an open mind and foster change, creative blocks will shut down the conversations we need to have to innovate.


Craig Barrie

Senior Consultant Project Manager