Good Team Communication Takes a Lot of Work

No software development approach is perfect. Consider the use of daily stand-up meetings. These are popular when using Scrum, XP, Kanban, or almost any agile approach.  A quick daily meeting can improve team communication and keep everyone in sync. But…

The team members need to communicate throughout the day. There is often a tendency to wait until the next daily meeting to share information. There may even be a feeling that most or all team communication can be handled during the daily stand-ups. Why can’t the rest of the day be interrupt-free?

You don’t need more than one team meeting per day but you need to make it easy for team members to talk or exchange information at any time. They can use any or all of the following:

  • Face to face conversation
  • Telephone
  • Instant messaging
  • Private social networking software
  • Electronic team message board

It’s good to have a few options available so that people can use whatever form of interaction makes them comfortable. The simpler and faster the method, the more likely people will be to use it. The more comfortable they are using it, the more information they will provide.

Don’t under-estimate the time and effort required for teams to communicate well. Even a small team of 7-9 people will have to spend a lot of time sharing information. Make it as easy as you can.

Updated: April 24, 2011 — 10:40 pm