Do you remember the “Who's on First” skit from Abbott and Costello? If not, do yourself a favor and do a quick online search. If so, read on: this post from Ralph Dopping on PMHut suggests that asking is the key to everything in project management: asking who is working on the project, how you can do more, what your executive management wants. Asking is a simple thing, but for some reason, people are programmed to be nervous about it. Dopping explains some of the benefits: Ask is the number one best project management tool that you can possess. Along with simplicity these two can take you to the moon on the new fancy rocket you just got. Just ask. Why not? Oh, yeah, you might look like a fool? Really? Or maybe you're not ready? Ready for what? There's no excuse. Your team is just begging you to ask them how to solve that problem. Your client won't know that you want to get paid for that extra work if you don't ask. Your contractor will never give you that schedule, report or progress bill on time if you don't ask. And (cue that scary music) your boss will never know you want that promotion, job, challenge, raise, whatever unless you use that one little teensy weensy single three letter word. Ask! Dopping then gives a quick warning: don't paint yourself into the corner by asking, either. Much like Abbott and Costello, learn to make asking a science: know exactly when to ask, how to ask, and why you're asking. Opening the doorway to inquisitive communication might just mean the difference between project success or failure.