The success of a project depends on many factors, one of them is communication. And it’s quite hard to communicate efficiently as there are many totally different people involved in a project: different characters, skills, responsibilities, etc.
So what’s effective communication? Krzysztof Rakowski considers that it’s a situation when the message has the same meaning for both the recipient and the sender.
One of the most important factors in the success or failure of any IT project is communication. Communicating effectively can be quite difficult, especially when a project involves many people with different backgrounds, experience, skills, responsibilities, and levels of authority. The problem arises when the people involved belong to different organizations with different working guidelines.
Effective communication happens when a message is delivered whose content has the same meaning for the recipient as it does for the sender, thus inciting the desired action. And it’s highly important for each project otherwise lots of problems and misunderstandings will arise. Every company will only benefit from establishing it as it saves money, time, and effort.
The results you’ll get:
3 words describe efficient communication in IT projects: explicitness, traceability, and readability.
The majority of companies use it for both internal and external communication. But not everybody uses it right.
The subject line should be brief and clear, explaining what’s the letter is about.
Examples of good subject lines:
The correct subject line tells recipients momentarily what’s the content of the letter and do they need to answer it at all. So don’t change the topic in the email text (“BTW, about that other thing, did you…”). It would be better to send a new letter.
“To” and “Cc” fields are meant for indicating a message addressee and those who should be informed ( without a need to respond) correspondingly.
Another good habit to have is to do everything in writing as people may forget about appointments and arrangements.
If’ you’re a manager, collect and store all the issues in one place so the team could track the progress and tasks. Avoid using email for assigning tasks.
Issue-tracking systems (Hygger, Redmine, Mantis BT, Bugzilla, Jira, etc.) will help to build a well-structured process. It would be easier to be aware of the project progress and all the information (sometimes it may even include time-tracking and deadline reminders).
Here are some universal rules you should follow:
In other words, store everything in the issue tracker. Remember that each task is a separate issue. Also, don’t forget to describe it the best way possible.
Meetings may seem a horror as many hours are wasted on them without any result.
But there’s a better approach: talk to each member of the team privately from time to time.
Make up quick meetings (5-15 minutes) so everybody knows the project status. One person may make a report.
These tips will help you a lot:
It would be productive if you have a common vocabulary at work and private life, i.e. you use the same names for projects, clients, etc. It will help to avoid misunderstanding.
Another useful tip is to manage the knowledge generated in a project (documentation, significant decisions, guidelines).
It’s also helpful to use colorful sticky notes on a whiteboard whilst working on a difficult project. Mark them “waiting”, “in progress”, “done”. Colors should indicate people assigned to tasks.
It’s quite hard to make people working according to the rules you set. Some are lazy to write messages carefully, others don’t see the benefits or can’t put their thoughts clear in writing.
There are 2 ways you can tackle the problem:
To sum it up: