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It is easy to accept that information and communication are closely linked. On the other hand there is great confusion about the roles that each plays and how one can manage each of them best to improve any system.


Communication is an interactive way of sharing 'data'.  

  • Much of this 'sharing' is real-time and initiated by the contributor.  
  • Most communication systems (eg, meetings, phone systems...) require high levels of synchronization. 
  • Those communication systems that don't require such high levels of synchronisation (eg, email ...) are subject to lack of focus and/or abuse by the sender Other systems  
  • They are often disruptive and compete with other tasks including core tasks.

On the other hand well designed information systems (e.g., good databases) focused on tasks will support the initiative  and needs of the recipient and be available at a time to suit the recipient.


Well designed and managed  information systems reduce the need for communication by making reliable information readily available.

This enables individuals to make informed decisions and thus exercise valuable initiatives.


Recommendation: One should aim to minimize the communication system and maximise the information system because

  • communication is costly and disruptive
  • information is liberating and makes people independent and responsible

Value of information 

Information does lots of things

  • enables people to be responsible, and thus  makes people responsible
  • removes uncertainty, and thus, reduces anxiety
  • provides a shared body of knowledge, and thus, enables collaboration and thus, improves efficiency and belonging;
  • enables people to check, and thus, makes everyone responsible for ensuring that things are going as intended.
  • ... (and I guess there are more benefits as well)


Information is not free!!  

  • Data and information need to be managed.
  • Data management needs tools.
  • Data costs time and effort to gather, organise and maintain. 
  • Return on investment = Value - Cost