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How to Communicate With Your Development Team

April 4, 2017 | team

Establishing standards for communication at the beginning of a development project is an important factor in determining whether your project will be delivered on-time and to your specifications.

Given that every company has its own standards for communication, you’ll need to work closely with your web development team to figure out what works best. If you want to learn how to communicate with your development team, here are 9 steps to follow.

1. Choose Your Preferred Communication Methods

At the start of the process, you’ll need to decide which communication methods are most convenient for you and your team. Whether you prefer face-to-face communication or verbal communication, you should know that most projects work best when there is a blend of both.

In addition, don’t only rely on email. Important emails can wind up in your spam box, causing delays in your responses to important updates about your project.

2. Note Time Zone Differences

Time zone differences can have a major impact on the amount of time that it takes complete your web development project. After all, if you are only available 2-3 hours out of your web development team’s workday versus being available for a full 8 hours during the workday, it makes it that much harder to schedule meetings and share updates.

Make sure your team is aware of the differences between your time zones. The locations of your web development firm’s outsourced team members also matter, given that they will need to relay the feedback to them as well. If you work with a web development firm that uses offshoring, find out where these offshore team members are located, as well.

3. Select Your Point of Contact

Just as your development team will select a point of contact to share important project details with you, you’ll also need to select someone from your company to do the same. In addition, you’ll need to decide which members of your team will have authorizations to suggest and make project changes so that there are no miscommunications that could wind up making your web development project more costly.

4. Use Apps for Verbal and Visual Connections

Both verbal and visual communication are essential in web development. Here are 3 apps that we use here at Achievion Solutions to communicate with our clients that we highly recommend:

  • Skype: Skype is a useful tool for video chat on the go.
  • GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting is a collaboration tool that you can use for video chat meetings and makes screen sharing easy.
  • Slack: Slack ensures that all team communications are available in one place, including Skype, email, and text conversations.

5. Stay in Contact

Constant communication with your developers is essential for ensuring that your development team is working properly in order to meet your deadlines. While it should be a given that you’re team development is working, never just assume that things are getting done. You’ll need to check on them, regularly.

While requesting updates multiple times per day is unnecessary, checking in daily and weekly is important. If you’re in the process of discussing an important aspect of your project, it is in your best interest to check in frequently until the issue is resolved.

In addition, you should also be prepared to work after-hours. Working after-hours will likely become part of your regular routine, especially if your web development team is located in another timezone. Make sure that there is someone on your team who is willing and available to handle such requests if they arise.

6. Set Aside Time Just for Meetings

Many clients confuse meetings with actual work time. If you want your team to deliver on-time, consider the fact that they must also have time to work on your web development project in order to address the things that you discussed during meetings.

In addition, meetings take up a lot of time and can become wholly unproductive if you don’t have goals in mind for your meetings from the outset. We recommend that you participate in the following types of meetings with your development team:

  • Daily Scrum meetings: These meetings are held at the same time everyday and are strictly time-boxed to 15 minutes. In each meeting, team members are asked to ask about what they did yesterday, what they’ll do today, and if there are any concerns that could prevent them from completing their goals.
  • Weekly Sprint Planning meeting: This meeting should be attended by the stakeholders, who clarify the details of the project backlog items and their respective acceptance criteria. The purpose of this meeting is for the entire team to agree to complete to complete a set of project backlog items.
  • Weekly Demo meeting: This meeting is designed to show stakeholders the work that has been accomplished over the sprint.

7. Meet Your End of the Bargain

Web development isn’t a project that you can simply hand off and hope that it gets done the way you want it to be done. If your web development team has specific requirements that you need to meet, make sure they get done and on-time.

Developers also need to know who the stakeholders are for your project. That means each of these stakeholders will need to take responsibility for their own contributions to the project. If you want your web development project to be successful, it starts with accountability.

8. Provide Detailed Feedback

Ineffective feedback is a major reason why web development projects are often stalled or not completed to the client’s satisfaction. Stakeholders also need to be clear about what they want versus what they need. In order for feedback to be effective, it must take into account the technology and project limitations.

Feedback should also be detailed and consistent. While there might be differences of opinion when it comes to the various stakeholders of your project, feedback should be delivered to your web development team as an overall consensus, not as multiple differing opinions.

9. Choose a Development Team That Works Best for You

These are just a few tips to help you establish an effective system of communication with your web development team. Overall, it is your responsibility to choose a web development team that will meet your communication requirements.

If you are looking for a web development firm that offers a 1-hour response time, along with a Washington, D.C.-based project team, we can help. Contact Achievion Solutions today to learn more about how our efficient web development services can meet your needs.

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