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Hackernoon logoCommunicate effectively with your software development team by@Saurabh

Communicate effectively with your software development team

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@SaurabhAmar Saurabh

Product Manager| Entrepreneur| Carnegie Mellon University | Co-founder at Sugoi Labs

Being an entrepreneur in this digital age, it’s a necessity to communicate with software developers. Your ability to communicate could be the only difference between a software that achieves its objectives and one that does not. I am sharing with you a five-point framework to make your software projects work.

Know what you want
 
 
A mind with clarity is the first step to effective communication. When you know what you want in your software, the communication becomes very easy. When you start conveying your needs to the developers, make it crisp and clear.

Use Visual Communication

Entrepreneurs are very good at communicating about their ideas and vision, but when it comes to explaining the nitty-gritty of websites and mobile apps, they lack the background and basics. That’s when it looks like the developers speak completely different language altogether.

In order to minimise risk and save time, energy and dollars, you should learn the basics of prototyping, wireframing and simple pen-paper sketching. The idea is not to create an exquisite piece of art but to get a dumb and dirty version of the interface and different screens.

Use common communication channels

Your developers or software agency might prefer one communication channel over others, you should ask for their preferences in order to avoid the occurrence of communication gaps. More often than not, your developers would be used to an app or software for communicating within the team, if you could adopt the same app for your communication with them, it will make everyone’s life easier.

Document Use Cases

Enlist the users of your software or app, categorise them into buckets for easier comprehension. List down features that each of these users will use.

  • Make a list of all the users you have planned to roll this product out to.
  • Describe all the major features of the system with as much detail as possible, again use visual communication as much as you can. This description should answer simple questions like where is the feature accessed? who uses it? how is it used? What are the different scenarios in which it can be used?
  • Also for each of these use cases, you should define what makes this feature successful. There should be a success metrics defined for the entire product as well.

Leaving this knowledge with your software developers can go a long way in making your product a success.

Communicate the “Why”

This one gets missed out most of the times, even seasoned entrepreneurs miss this one out.

You must answer the question “Why” — yes even if you have not been asked. Why are you building what you are building? What is that motivates you or what inspired you to get started with this product in the first place? Why do you need it?

This is one thing if communicated well, can be the separation between a software which checks all the boxes to be great and the one which does not even meet its objectives. Having your software developers aligned with the vision of the product makes everyone feel part of the team.

Apart from above-mentioned pointers, if you could list out few websites or apps which you like and also explicitly mention why you like them, it sets the right expectations and helps in planning the software sprints. List out a few competitors and mention the USP that your product carries. Equipped with the above knowledge you are bound to succeed in your next software product development.

Originally published at sugoilabs.com on July 18, 2018.

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@SaurabhAmar Saurabh

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Product Manager| Entrepreneur| Carnegie Mellon University | Co-founder at Sugoi Labs

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