There is zero doubt that creating a software development project, website, or app can be a difficult process. Software developers can be notoriously so into their programming, that sometimes communication gets overlooked or under-prioritized. Of course, we can only say that because we’ve been there. And we’ve learned how to overcome.
Importance of good development communication
Communication is essential in the development, testing, and launching phases of the software development process. There must be a good and strong rapport between the requestor (in most cases a business) and the programmers actually doing the code work. Though communication is an on-going process, it is especially important during the following five stages of software development:
Good communication tools
In today’s digital world, there are many options for communication. Each of them are useful in their own right and for their own specific function.
1. Email – A recent study reported that as Americans, we spend an average of 4.1 hours checking and responding to work email each day. Say what?! Now, don’t get us wrong. Email is an extremely effective tool for plain communication, updates, and small document transfer. But if you’re looking for quick resolutions and fast pace, you may want to look elsewhere.
2. Instant Messaging/Chat Systems– There’s no question that IM systems have evolved since they were first introduced in the 90s. Not only are they more secure, but they don’t require you to be tied to your computer. There are some pretty stellar mobile chat systems available that allow for quick communication and information sharing. Our favorites are Google Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp, and Slack to use as communication between our development team, project managers, and customers. They’re quick, to the point, and allow everyone to return to the project at hand even faster.
3. Project Management Systems –After specification and requirements documentation is written out, discussed, and a plan is in place, it’s time to put together a timeline. Long gone are the days of creating and deciphering Gantt charts, monkeying with Excel files, and trying to add team users to endless amounts of documentation. Working with a project management platform, such as Trello, allows all parties visibility into working priorities, timelines, and challenges. Many also often a discussion interface to improve communication during the entire software development process.
4. Issue Queues – Platforms like Bugzilla and GitHub have made reporting bugs and issues within testing phases simple and easy. Issues that come up during testing can be documented and automatically distributed to the team, priorities can be assigned, and information shared on steps to re-create the issue. Automatic updates are sent out to those involved, and the notifications are less invasive than emails and IMs being tossed around all day. In addition, lesser priority bugs have a place to camp out and remain on a list while the high priority issues receive quick attention.
Working with a project manager
At LTC, we take communication off the plates of our exceptional development team and have you work directly with a project manager. Our US-based project management team manages communication between our clients and programmers, establishes goals and timelines, and holds our entire team accountable to ensure your project remains on time and on budget!
Looking for an experienced, yet affordable, software development team? We would appreciate an opportunity to connect with you and establish a partnership. Feel free to contact us with your information, and we’ll be in touch shortly!