4 Ways to Better Communicate with Your Dev Team

Development teams thrive on proper communication. Without it, you leave a dev team scrambling to be a cohesive whole, even if all factors are fighting against them. Make the process easier for your team and enforce a few communication tools that can make all the difference in their success. To help make that search a little easier, we’ve rounded up the must-knows right here!

1. Educate Yourself on Topics at Hand

Nothing is worse than having a team leader or higher-up that has no idea what is going on. Oftentimes, it will result in unrealistic expectations and deadlines or misunderstandings in the end. 

By complicating things unnecessarily, you significantly harm the chance of your dev team’s success. Plus, taking the time to have a general understanding of what is happening or how it impacts your dev team can be seen as a sign of respect and help to keep all parties appeased, leading to better communication!

2. Set Clear Exepectations

Nothing ensures a project’s success quite like beginning with a strong understanding of expectations. If you want to ensure your dev team is successful and utilizing clear communication, it’s important to start off on the right foot. 

Nowadays, it’s not enough to simply set an end-goal and allow your team to run loose because it can lead to complications you’ll find hard to remedy later on. For example, if you would like to see a prototype or progress report halfway through the project’s expected timeline, make that clear upfront. 

Don’t be upset when a dev team who is used to being completely autonomous does not have a mid-way report for you that you did not mention wanting until it a day ago. This can cause kinks in the communication flow and make the team hold resentment. Plus, it can completely derail their workflow and complicate the entire project in the end. 

While this was a clear, straightforward example of asking for what you want, there are other times when your expectations may not be so clear. Rather than concealing them, enforce a free-moving check-in system that allows you to mention concerns or wants – even if you don’t have all the answers for them.

3. Avoid Micromanaging 

An easy way to discourage communication is to be too overbearing with your overseeing of the project. Of course, to some level, managing is necessary, but you don’t want to make things miserable for your team. Micromanaging, order giving, and overall lack of respect is not the way to achieve your goals or communicate in general. 

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Instead, treat your dev team as you would want to be treated and enforce a level of respect that encourages communication. Nothing is more overwhelming than being forced to overcommunicate. It can be a waste of time and also cause morale to fall for the dev team overall. 

This process of skipping the micromanaging goes back to outlining clear expectations from the beginning and fostering a strong goal-oriented work environment. Be sure to implement these expectations early on to set the right ones so developers know what to expect from start to finish.

4. Utilize a Software Tool

The method of communication that works for one dev team can look much different than the preferred method of another. But a general consensus is that a supplementary tool that helps to encourage proper communication can make all the difference in success or falling short. 

There are plenty of options out there that can work with your team’s unique preferences. From easy-to-navigate interfaces to intuitive design that promotes the use, there are endless communication tools out there. A few common ones include: 

  • Slack 
  • Notion 
  • Discord
  • Zoom
  • Google Suite 
  • Microsoft Teams 
  • Teamwork

If one of these methods does not perfectly fit your dev team’s needs, don’t hesitate to double up. For example, reserve Slack communications for pressing matters and Teamwork for day-to-day task assigning or similar. 

You might also consider using software that can help your team to perform their best. An example of this is BugHerd, which can help with bug tracking leaving more time for big things, including communication! 

Conclusion

Maintaining effective communication with your dev team is possible, even if it’s not always easy. With the right tools in place from the start of the project, you’ll be able to ensure that communication is a priority for all on the team. Many of the pillars that lead to successful completion also contribute to effective communication as well. 

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