Efficient communication between the business and the IT team

The key to successful projects

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Efficient communication between the business and the IT team

Have you ever struggled with a lack of understanding between the IT department and the business? We often encounter challenges due to a lack of understanding and effective communication, which leads to extended project times, constant updating of requirements and even exceeding the project budget. Cooperation between these two spheres is essential for the success of IT projects.

In this article, we will outline the importance of clear and effective communication in the context of IT projects and present practical strategies and tools that facilitate this exchange of information.

Challenges in communication between IT and business

An important aspect of the communication challenges between IT and business is the difference in priorities and mindset. IT professionals often focus on technical details and optimising solutions, while business representatives emphasise aspects related to profitability, market strategy and customer satisfaction. This divergence in priorities can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts when both parties are not fully aware of and do not understand each other's priorities and needs.

Furthermore, the differences in thinking between IT and business can be significant. IT professionals often approach problems in a logical and analytical manner, relying on facts and technical data. Business representatives, on the other hand, may be more inclined to make decisions based on intuition, experience and market understanding. This difference in approach can lead to difficulties in determining a common direction for a project.

Consideration should also be given to the fact that IT professionals often use acronyms, abbreviations and specialised terminology that may be unclear to those outside the field. As a result, it can be difficult for business representatives to understand technical details and implications, which can lead to a lack of clarity in communication and an incomplete understanding of the project scope and requirements.

On the other hand, business representatives may find it difficult to express their needs in a sufficiently precise manner to the technical team. Understanding the business objectives and expectations is paramount for the successful implementation of a technical solution. However, often business requirements can be unclear, undefined or contradictory, which can cause misinterpretation and lead to dissatisfaction with the final product.

As a result, building bridges and common understanding between both parties is a particularly important challenge. This is essential in order to effectively deal with differences in language, priorities and thinking that may occur during the course of an IT project.

The importance of effective business communication in IT for the success of projects

Effective communication is the foundation of successful IT projects, influencing not only the various stages of implementation, but also the end result and the satisfaction of all parties involved.

The first aspect to highlight is the importance of communication to the project schedule. Clear business communication allows for a better understanding of deadlines, tasks and priorities, which enables precise planning and time management. This avoids delays that can result from ambiguity or disagreement during the various stages of the project.

Another important aspect is the impact of communication on the project budget. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations of requirements can often lead to additional costs associated with correcting errors or modifying already implemented solutions. Therefore, a proper understanding of the client's needs and clear communication between teams can contribute to the optimal use of available financial resources.

The quality of the final product is also directly linked to effective business communication. When the technical team thoroughly understands the customer's expectations and requirements, they can focus on delivering a solution that perfectly meets those needs. This not only prevents errors due to ambiguity, but also enables innovative and effective solutions that can add value to the final product.

Customer satisfaction should be a priority for project teams. When everyone is committed to open and effective communication, trust and a sense of shared responsibility for the project outcome grows. A positive relationship between the team and the client not only promotes more effective collaboration, but also builds long-term business relationships, which can also benefit future projects.

Effective communication between the business and IT has a direct impact on schedule, budget, product quality and customer and team satisfaction. As an example, the business clearly communicates its expectations and requirements and the IT team is able to interpret this information and adjust the work schedule accordingly. As a result, the project is delivered on schedule, which contributes to both time savings and improved satisfaction for both the client and the project team.

It is imperative that due attention is given to building clear and effective communication channels and promoting an open and collaborative atmosphere within the project team.

Tools and methods to facilitate communication in IT

Using the right business-IT communication tools and working methodologies not only facilitates the exchange of information between teams and stakeholders, but also provides structure and efficiency in project delivery.

Communication tools such as Slack, Trello or Jira form the basis for fast and effective team communication. They allow team members to easily exchange information, share ideas and monitor the progress of tasks. These platforms also offer the possibility to integrate with other tools used in the design process, which contributes to greater transparency and efficiency.

Integrations that can be successfully used in IT projects:

  • GitHub/GitLab with Slack - enables automatic notifications of source code changes or pull requests directly in the Slack channel. This allows the team to quickly track the progress of the code and take action when needed.
  • Slack with IDE (Integrated Development Environment) - Some IDEs offer integration with Slack, allowing developers to send progress notifications or code review requests directly from the code editor.
  • Confluence with Jira - allows you to automatically create project documentation or user guides based on tasks or issues in Jira. This is particularly useful for projects that require documentation of progress and results.
  • Jira with Bitbucket - allows source code to be directly linked to tasks and issues in Jira. This allows the team to keep track of which piece of code is linked to which task or issue, making it easier to identify and resolve issues.

When executing projects at SKM Group, we use the Jira tool, thanks to which the entire project backlog is in one place and we have the ability to keep track of the status of tasks and react when something goes against the plan. We integrate Jira with Bitbucket, which speeds up and standardises the team's work and allows for quick code corrections.

Agile and Scrum working methods are increasingly used in IT projects due to their effectiveness in a dynamic environment. Agile promotes a flexible approach to IT project management, emphasising continuous adaptation to changing conditions and a focus on delivering value to the customer. Scrum, on the other hand, provides structure and clarity in the delivery of tasks through regular meetings, short iterations (sprints) and transparency on progress. If you want to learn more about how we work using Agile and Scrum, we refer you to our earlier article:

In addition, it is worth mentioning tools that enable collaboration on documents and files, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Teams, which make it easier to work on project documentation and share resources. Furthermore, code version management platforms such as GitHub or GitLab are essential for developers to track changes, collaborate on code and ensure project security and integrity.

Finally, the importance of training and support for the team in the use of communication tools and working methodologies cannot be overlooked. Having access to the right knowledge and skills allows the team to use the available business-IT communication tools more effectively and to take full advantage of the benefits of the chosen methodology. This contributes to better results in the delivery of IT projects.

Building Bridges between IT and Business: Practical IT project management strategies

To effectively counteract the communication challenges between IT and the business, it is important to apply practical strategies to build bridges and common understanding between both parties. Below is an extension of practical strategies in effective communication in IT projects.

Education and awareness of terminology

One of the key strategies is to continue to educate and raise awareness of technical terminology among business representatives and business aspects among the technical team. Organising training, presentations and thematic workshops can help to understand and assimilate key concepts and issues from both fields. Such initiatives promote mutual understanding and facilitate communication between teams.

Translation of requirements into technical language and vice versa

An important strategy is to be able to translate business requirements into language that the technical team can understand and technical terminology into language that business representatives can understand. Using concrete examples, analogies and presenting specific scenarios can facilitate understanding of complex technical or business issues.

Regular inter-departmental meetings and workshops

Holding regular interdepartmental meetings and workshops builds trust and understanding between teams. Such meetings can be used to discuss the progress of the project, clarify concerns, identify problems and make joint decisions. The project manager's support in organising such meetings can ensure that all relevant issues are addressed and that all participants have the opportunity to express their opinions and needs.

Building a culture of open communication and collaboration

Building a culture of open communication and collaboration within the team is good for the project. Encouraging the sharing of knowledge, experience and opinions, and promoting dialogue and mutual respect can create an atmosphere conducive to building trust and understanding. In this way, teams can operate more effectively and efficiently, achieving better project results.

Monitoring of communication effectiveness and corrective action

Last but not least, it is an important strategy to monitor the effectiveness of communication during the project and to take appropriate corrective action when necessary. Analysing feedback from the team and project stakeholders can provide valuable insights into areas that need improvement or further development. In this way, the communication process can be continuously improved and even stronger team relationships can be built.

Collaboration between business and technical teams is an essential part of successful IT projects. Companies developing bespoke software face challenges and take special care to ensure good contact between software developers and business representatives. However, challenges are often encountered due to a lack of understanding and effective communication between the two spheres. In this article, we outline the importance of clear and effective communication in the context of IT projects and present practical strategies and tools that facilitate this exchange of information.

In the communication challenges between IT and business, we have noted important differences in priorities and mindset. To avoid misunderstandings, it is important to build bridges and common understanding between both sides. Education, translation of requirements into technical and business language and regular interdepartmental meetings are key strategies in this process.

Effective business communication and collaboration between business and technical teams are particularly important factors in the success of IT projects. Investing in the development of communication skills and practising them on a daily basis brings tangible benefits in the form of better results and satisfaction for both the client and the team.

About The Author
Izabela Węgrecka

Izabela is a Project Manager and Scrum Master with 6 years of experience in the IT industry. She has experience in leading diverse projects and effectively managing teams. She's a leader with the ability to create cohesive and efficient teams based on Scrum values. Regardless of the project's scale, she's able to establish a dynamic environment where collaboration, innovation, and delivering valuable products take precedence.