Hack Your Agility: Improving Team Communication

Does your team share information in a timely and efficient manner? Do you have tools that enhance your communication?  Can your team communication practices improve? Do you experience problems related to poor communication?

One key to successful agile software development is continuously improving communication practices.  Whether it is communication between the Team and the customer, between developers and testers, product owners and the rest of the Team, operations and development or simply one-on-one, a successful agile practice requires a mindful communication practice.  No single tool can solve a team’s communications challenges but just like a stethoscope is a necessary tool for a physicians diagnostic practice, the right tools can help enhance and improve a teams communication.

Consider using team collaboration tools such as Slack or TFS Team Rooms for capturing, and archiving communications between team members and sub-teams.  These tools help teams by removing the “drive-by’s” and context-switching conversations that can hamper productivity, while still allowing discussions and collaboration between team members.  Team collaboration tools make it easy to stay connected while not being in the same physical location and they allow individuals to manage discussions when it’s more convenient, an important factor in improving productivity.  In addition, some tools can integrate with other technologies allowing for better insight into build and check-in status.  It’s time to hack your teams communication.

(Original article appeared in July 8th 2015 edition of The Tempo)

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