• Mary G. Stokes

Can Business-Side & Developers Reach Common Ground?

Updated: Mar 18


Lack of healthy communication is still an obstacle to software development and innovation. Recently, Deloitte even suggested companies use a common language for digital transformation. Because yes, business and engineers speak in various ways. Neither manager nor developer can understand the other side 100%. That’s why projects turn to the towers of Babel.


Lots of articles and books devoted to this topic caught my attention. I bet you also saw them. All of us know how to deal with a communication challenge. But frequently, it’s only in theory.


How would it be in practice? Is it possible to avoid misunderstandings at all? Maybe it depends on the cooperation model? Let’s find the answers below.


How Business Cooperates With the Developers in 2022


In-house software development


Even in 2022, some companies believe that in-house development is always convenient and efficient. Why not? All the security measures are applied. Management controls the development cycle, takes care of employees, and invests in their professional growth.


But what if the company needs to migrate to a new tech stack or create an IoT system?

  • In-house developers might not have relevant knowledge in these fields.

  • Training is costly and time-consuming.

  • Business requires a product on a tight schedule.

It seems that the involvement of third-party companies, teams, or particular engineers is a solution here.

In-house software development

That’s why in recent years, companies frequently choose outsourcing, outstaffing models, or dedicated teams to delegate software development. It helps to gain relevant expertise without staff expansion.


Business & Tech Side Cooperation Models


Outsourcing


A company conducts a tender to choose a relevant contractor (vendor) that will run a software development by itself. The enterprise controls product creation indirectly by communicating with the contractor’s management.


Dedicated teams


Imagine that outsourcing and outstaffing had a baby. It would be a dedicated team. Here, a vendor provides a client with a team of its employees, selected following requirements. The vendor takes an administrative burden when the client can cooperate with the team directly.

Outsourcing & Dedicated teams

Outstaffing


It’s a cooperation model when a company (client) involves third-party developers recruited by a contractor (outstaffing company). The outstaffing company hires tech specialists following the client’s requirements. It provides them with a convenient environment & work conditions. The client communicates with the engaged developers directly, literally including them into in-house teams.

Outstaffing cooperation model

You may also like: How to Choose a Software Development Company


What Helps Clients and Developers to Be On The Same Page?


It seems that modern cooperation models are more vulnerable to communication challenges. Various countries, time zones, and traditions can divide clients and teams into “friends” and “foes”. But in-house projects are also at the risk zone. The case is that even English-speaking people can speak in different languages.


So what should business-side specialists and engineers do to understand each other better?


Don’t wait for 100% accurate and steady requirements


The business environment is not predictable. Even considering all conditions and forecasts is not a panacea from unexpected changes. Managers know it. So making updates in tech requirements is a usual thing for them. Meanwhile, they might become a confusing challenge for developers. Both parties should accept it to avoid difficulties.


Invest in clear and detailed project documentation


Managers have to remember that project documentation is a core guideline for engineers. No matter who begins the project, continues it, or maintains the designed product. It’s arduous to update a product without a clear understanding of how it was designed. Businesses set tasks, but engineers can’t perform them because of the data absence. So, managers should ensure the creation of documentation before its lack becomes an issue.


Don’t expect perfect testing of all scenarios


The testing stage helps a team discover weaknesses of just created software and eliminate them before they cause damage to a client. But it’s impossible to try a product in all situations. A “black swan” event might arise and make a company initiate updates. It means a business side shouldn’t demand from QA/AQA Engineers and the rest of a team to move mountains.


Write meeting memos


The best way to stay on the same page is to write detailed meeting memos. It will allow businesses and developers to track their ideas & agreements and follow them in a high workload condition.

Things to keep in mind

Afterword


Proper communication with people is still an eternal topic for discussion. We can deal with this issue at the domestic level. But frequently, it doesn’t help us find the right words for those who design innovative software products for us.


A manager and an engineer will always have a different experience, knowledge, and focus of perception. The first one is a business person. The other one is a creator. They will not understand each other, and there is no versatile way to ensure seamless communication between them.


Anyway, the joint efforts can work wonders. All brilliant - easy: not to demand impossible things, consider differences, and capture actions.


Are you looking for reliable allies understanding your business needs? Drop us a line to use our management and tech expertise.

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