The importance of good communication in software development
A lot of labels are used to describe a good software development process. You may have come across software development teams describing themselves as being “lean” or “agile”. They may tell you they use “scrum methodologies” or an “iterative approach.”
This is all great stuff because in theory it means that the team is planning to be flexible during the development cycle… It means that they know that current product plans may change and that they are willing and prepared to change the plan mid-stream.
However, what can sometimes get lost in all the methodology and process is good old fashioned communication skills.
Usually a project starts off well. The team gets briefed and responsibilities are assigned. However, as the project progresses, team members can lose track of what others are doing. They are, rightly, focused on their own tasks but without good communication between, it is easy to lose track of the bigger picture.
Email, Skype, and online project management tools like Redmine and Basecamp means we can work successfully with people in different timezones and different continents. However all of the tools are enablers of communication and do not replace good communication. A successful team is one where there is a natural exchange of conversation.