Effective Communication for Software Development
|Communication is the tool for the success of any organization. In fact, our success in life is dependent on how well we communicate with each other.|
This article intends to
- Differentiate between Communication and Effective Communication,
- Emphasises the importance of Effective Communication.
- How it can be achieved.
Difference between Communication and Effective Communication?
Communication is a two way process where the speaker tries to convey something and the listener receives something else. However, effective communication ensures that the recipient gets just the message that the sender intends to deliver.
Communication can be in any form (verbal, written or even through body language). But some techniques have to be adopted for effective communication.
Communication is a means of connecting people. In business, it is a key function of management. An organization cannot operate without communication between levels, departments and employees. The basic purpose of communication is sharing of opinions and thoughts. Communication skills are very important and make the basis of our interpersonal relationships.
Effective communication is a concept that emphasizes the importance of the fact that our productivity and efficiency increases when we listen to a message and respond to it after understanding it in the manner it was intended to by the sender. It is a fact that to rise in life, whether in business or in an organization, one needs to effectively communicate.
For an Effective Communication:
- Use standard terminology when communicating information.
- Request and provide clarification when needed.
- Ensure statements are direct and unambiguous.
- Inform the appropriate individuals when the mission or plans change.
- Communicate all information needed by those individuals or teams external to the team.
- Use nonverbal communication appropriately.
- Use proper order when communicating inform
Why Effective Communication is needed.
Communication plays a fundamental role in all facets of business. It is therefore very important that both internal communication within your organisation as well as the communication skills of your employees are effective. The following six reasons will explain why effective communication should be a focus in your business:
1. Builds and maintains relationships
Relationships are built and can be maintained by positive encounters with others. Communication will be key to this process – without effective skills, it will be difficult to properly construct and foster productive relationships.
2. Facilitates innovation
When employees feel comfortable in openly communicating new ideas, cooperation and innovation will be at an all-time high. In addition, if staff are unable to convey their ideas due to limited communication skills, it is likely that the idea will not be implemented to its full potential.
3. Builds an effective team
If open communication within a workplace is encouraged, a more cohesive and effective team will emerge. Good communication within a team also tends to boost employee morale. When employees feel that they are well informed of the company’s direction and vision, they will feel more secure within their role. Regular internal communication can also lead to an improved work ethic if staff are reminded of achievements and feel that they are working towards a common goal.
4. Managing employees
When managers are effective communicators, they are more able to inform staff adequately of their responsibilities and what is expected from them. Good communication skills also helps managers to provide constructive feedback to their staff, build better relationships, and understand personal goals that staff may wish to work towards.
5. Contributes to growth of the company
A lack of communication can lead to the collapse of any organisation. Whilst that is a bold statement – without proper marketing collateral and communication internally and externally, most organisations will struggle to survive. Communication can also lead to productivity and helps to avoid unnecessary delays in the implementation of policies.
6. Ensures transparency
When regularly communicating both internally and externally, organisations remain more transparent. This is important in building trust in your brand, in your services and also internally when it comes to the trust that employees have in higher management.
Ways to improve communication between Software Developers
- Remove emotional component while communicating.
- Never give any fake surprise to clients. For example, while writing email, you may paste some content from other places, the pasted content may have different format. If we send the email, the client will concentrate on it and will try to find some meaning out of it.
- Avoid overthinking of a question and consequently giving answers, not related to the question.
- When answering a question, don’t make the questioner think a lot (give direct answers)
- Raise questions, which can get answer in single word or single sentence.
- Adaption of new Developer Programming practices
- If a new developer has recently joined the team, grouping them with another developer can reduce the adaption period of the new team member.
- Allow internal chatting between Developers. This will actually help them implement tricky functionality by discussion.
- Make a good use of sketch boards
- Arrange the working space
To facilitate communication, organize the working environment so that developers sit next to each other and could see what fellow developers are working on.
- Assign more experienced developers to new developers
- Organize regular meetings
- Turn meetings into fun get-togethers
Sometimes, making meetings informal is the way to go. Unfortunately, traditional formal meetings are often boring, tense, and tend to steer off course. Creativity, moments, unusual ideas are more likely to appear unexpectedly during friendly conversations. Hold meetings to inspire, not bore.
- Encourage team events: talks, lunches and happy hours
Let your team participate in activities that are not strictly related to work. It could be anything, from having lunch or happy hour together to eco-friendly volunteering activities. Have fun, use your imagination.
- Encourage focused knowledge exchange
Give external peer review a try and invite participants from other teams to your meetings. They are likely to think outside the box and offer a different perspective. Besides, they’ll learn a little bit about your project too, which is always helpful.
- Hold success parties
Little celebrations of success are important, even if it’s just everyone taking a quick break to grab a cup of coffee. If your team has successfully finished a challenging project it’s worth doing something special and inviting members of other teams. This can be a real morale boost — celebrating within a team is one thing, but showing others that you had a big success motivates in a different way.