Better communication means better collaboration

27 Oct 2021

Your IT and software departments have a collaboration problem. A big problem. This isn’t my opinion, this is the finding of a Forrester research study. Most IT leaders say they need to improve IT team collaboration. One simple solution is to focus on communication skills. After all, better communication means better collaboration.

According to the study, 80% of respondents felt inter-departmental collaboration is crucial for software development success. In spite of that, 80% of decision-makers said they need to improve collaboration.

To put that into perspective, imagine nine players on a soccer team saying they need to play as a team if they want to win. Then those same players say they don’t currently play as a team. Would you bet on them to win the championship? I wouldn’t.

Collaboration isn’t possible without good communication

No successful software today is created in a vacuum. Collaboration in software development is more important — and more challenging — than ever.

Collaboration is critical for success in IT. And collaboration isn’t possible without good communication. Communication is the only way teams can align on goals and share information. No communication means no collaboration.

Software development teams have no shortage of communication tools and policies. Project methodologies and company policies tell people what to communicate and when. Tools capture and present information to a range of teams and leaders.

Despite all these tools and processes, there is still a communication gap.

The problem is policies don’t tell people what to say in specific situations. The tools don’t help much either. They are only as good as the data the user puts into them. Good communication happens when people choose the right thing to say.

The right thing to say includes the most relevant information to share. Communication is clear when the audience can relate to the information. And the best communicators speak and write in a simple, jargon-free way.

Collaboration is easier when communication is clear. Clarity and understanding come from communication that is relevant, relatable, simple, and jargon-free. If your teams communicating in this way, they will collaborate more easily. this is true no matter what tools or processes they use.

If you want to know how to improve IT team collaboration, improve the communication skills of your teams. Do this before investing in new processes or technology. If your teams can communicate they will collaborate better no matter what tools they use.