The child, the grandmother, and the leaky roof

Part 1 of a series on how to communicate to executives, stakeholders, and developers at the right level of detail

Abby Allen

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Image by stefamerpik on Freepik

It was February and the roof of the home we’d recently purchased was leaking. The snow on the roof was melting and a steady stream of water was dripping out of my kitchen cabinets, all over my countertops and onto the floor. The conversations I had over the next few hours looked something like this:

Me => mother-in-law: My roof is leaking. Can you watch our daughter while we fix this? Do you have a recommendation for a roofer?

Me => 5-year-old child: Please pack an overnight bag. You’re going to Grandma’s house until Daddy and I can figure out how to make our roof stop leaking.

Me => roofing contractor: My roof is leaking. Can you please come quickly to help me assess the problem?

Roofing contractor => me, after asking pertinent questions about the roof, it’s slope, the direction it faces, and snow cover: You probably have an ice dam. I am not the right person to help you right now. Call this contractor instead, then call me and I’ll look at it after it’s removed.

Me => ice dam removal company: I probably have an ice dam that’s causing my roof to leak…

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Abby Allen

Abby Allen is a user-focused product manager, engineer, entrepreneur, and mom based in Minneapolis, MN.