Article

Konstantin Boyko
Konstantin Boyko 5 September 2017

6 tips for great communication on a development project

Communication is as integral to a project’s success as any technology, tools or implementation strategies. After all, in order to get where we need to go, everyone needs to be following the same map. When communication falters, so does the project’s vision. If regular check-ins aren’t completed or there isn’t an open dialogue from each side, mistakes and assumptions arise – and we all know what they say about assumptions.

However, balance is key. Here are six tips to help you get started.

1. Start with the end in mind

Regardless of a project’s nature, understanding its end game is the first step. Developers should devise a long-term plan and establish early on how much information the client would like along the way; for instance, how often does the client want to be updated? How will you communicate with other team members? Setting a clear path not only makes the journey itself easier and more efficient, but also sets expectations and aids with transparency.

Moreover, this is not so much about the final product of the project, but rather what the client wants to achieve with it. For instance, if someone enquires about updating their ecommerce site, snazzy designs aside, what they are really after is an uptick in sales and functionality. So, start by thinking big.

2. Set clear goals

After the main plan of action is established, smaller goals should also be shared because a project is made up of little milestones. Questions like how far along the client wants the project to be after, say, two weeks, or how much input they want to have should be made clear at the beginning. By creating smaller, achievable goals, everyone involved will know their place and their next step, making the whole project more effective. And while you’re at it…

3. Put it in writing

Memory is a fickle thing, so don’t leave vital project insight inside your head. Verbal conversations are a great way of building rapport, but they are very rarely well remembered. Additionally, having the goals and project expectations clear gives everyone a chance to review them, check back in and realign themselves if necessary. So keep notes and send follow-up emails after meetings to keep everyone in the loop.

4. Be honest

Especially when it comes to bad news. If there has been a setback or mistake, tell them. Don’t go beating around the bush. While they may not be happy to know that there’s an issue, they will respect your honesty.

5. Speak their language

Now, no matter how experienced or tech savvy the person sat across from you is, it’s best to speak plainly. Not everyone will be as familiar with your tech niche as you are, so leave out the jargon and ensure your message gets across.

6. Stay in touch

The regularity of updates is largely contingent on the project. Some clients may just want the final product, while some partners may want daily round-ups. Ironically, the key to establishing how much you should communicate is by communicating with them and asking. Go figure.

If you’re a perfectionist, letting people in on the process can be a challenge. You may be tempted to keep it all under wraps ready for a big reveal, but silence will only create more worries. Not to mention, communication builds transparency; disappearing off into the office for six weeks, however – not so much. Plus, people like to see the project in action, especially when it’s a field they’re not familiar with, so don’t be afraid to get them involved.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Infographic - The Best Times and Days to Post to Social Media

Infographic - The Best Times and Days to Post to Social Media

With the social media landscape changing literally every single day, it's become a full-time job for social media managers to merely stay up-to-date on emerging and shifting trends and best practices. It's tedious, time-consuming, detail-oriented, and, quite frankly, a bit of a headache. But thanks to this new infographic, some guessing can be taken out of social media management.

Will Price
Will Price 21 September 2017
Read more
Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

As financial services and insurance (FSI) companies strive to deliver the seamless multi-channel customer experience, the traditional marketing model has been radically reimagined. Innovative institutions are showing how cross-functional teams focusing on the customer journey can work to develop a single view of the customer – an approach that can bring tangible rewards. Yet research shows that large institutions still have some way to go in maximising the return on their investment in this area.

Aoife McIlraith
Aoife McIlraith 18 September 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

The 10-year-old kid, selling ice cold fresh lemonade on the street corner in your local neighbourhood had it right. He or she may not have realized it but the simple marketing strategy that they accidentally and innocently came up with works perfectly on the people strolling by on their daily walk.

Ellie Summers
Ellie Summers 19 September 2017
Read more