PM in Focus: 4 Tips for Effective Communication with Your Developers
To provide customers with high-quality services, the developer and the customer should be on the same wavelength. Lack of communication can be an issue with serious consequences such as business-critical bugs, failure to deliver the project on time, extra expenses. We asked our most experienced PM Alexander Sharko how to build effective and easy communications with the customers.
Alexander Sharko, Project Manager at Archer Software
45 projects, 20 customers, 6 years with Archer.
№1 Stay Involved
It is a key to success. Some customers suppose that with the correct configuration of the development team there is no need for them to be involved. Such customers often get results that differ from what they expect. Communication brings transparency and lets you have control over the project. Communication turns the project from a bet on a horse race, where you pay the money but do not control anything, into a truly clear and manageable process.
№2 Communicate Consistently
Timely responses to the developer's questions can save your resources. If you don’t have time to actively participate in the project, you can schedule regular, brief calls and stick with the schedule. A customer should be accessible for phone and online calls at least once a week.
Waiting for an answer prevents the developer from moving forward, thus causing unnecessary delays in production. It often takes surprisingly little time to answer the questions and keep your project running.
№3 Trust Developers as Professionals
The customer can set high requirements for the developer's team. However, once the team is formed, trust them. On their side, the developers should strive to build trust. By dividing the project into small project phases, the customer will be able to track the results while moving from phase to phase. Taking the developer’s opinion into consideration often helps in finding better solutions.
№4 Get Developers Involved in your Business Events
Along with technical issues, developers can help you solve business issues. Preparing
demos for potential investors or clients often requires deep technical knowledge of the product. The PM can provide you with necessary screenshots and images and suggest the best way to represent the upcoming features. Let the developer know about the event in advance, not the last minute, so he will have time to prepare or create the materials needed.
If the customer and PM both follow these simple tips, it helps:
- Save time,
- Save money,
- Get better quality products and services,
- Ensure satisfactory results time and time again.