In software development project or any other project soft skills are crucial to the success of the project. Even if one is perfect in technical skills soft skills are essential to enhance teamwork as well as cooperation to achieve a common goal in a teamwork. Soft skills are the personal attributes that one needs for the successful engagement in a workplace. Such skills include communication skills, social skills, problem-solving as well as conflict resolution skills, flexibility among many others. Such skills are essential as they help one to effectively navigate through his or her working environment, perform well, and work as well as aid in the achievement of personal and work-related goals. This paper provides insight on the relevance and importance of group communication in software development project which is one of the basic people skills.
Importance and Relevance of Group Communication
The success of software development project largely depends on the effectiveness of communication amongst the stakeholders, developers, and the management team. Effective communication factors into the productivity of the organization and individuals. Communication has a significant impact when a change is affected. To improve group communication amongst developers, it is important to provide effective infrastructure and processes to support communication. On the other hand, to produce a good software system, it is paramount to have active listening as well as interpretive leaping.
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This involves understanding the problem to be solved by the software product to offer a model of transcendence. Today, we live in a swiftly changing world in regards to technological advancement. And as a result, there has been a tremendous growth in the software industry and thus high demand for skilled technology workers to develop software.
To develop and maintain an effective software product the workers involved must interact with one another. Poor group collaboration and communication amongst the people involved in software development results in reduced quality of the product, wasted or duplicated efforts, schedules overrun, production of software products that are neither useful nor usable, lower productivity, among others, as a result, organization with poor group communication is faced with a challenge of maintaining its public image and thus unable to maintain long-term competitiveness. With effective group communication, the chances of project failure are minimal. Effective group communication is important for the improvement of the quality of the product produced and enables organization developing software to remain competitive and hence able to handle the growing complexity of software.
Software team effectiveness is highly dependent on the right skills amongst leaders and team members as well as the right tools and resources. Software team exhibits interdependence; this implies that all members of the software team have a common fate and common purpose. Poor personal communication of a member of the group may make such a team deviate from the primary purpose as it affects all members of the group. Effective group communication improves the productivity of the members. Effective communication skills cut out wasted time in disagreement and conflicts resolutions, and thus it is a necessary tool that leads satisfaction and hence productivity. Effective group communication empowers team members in that they accurately understand their role and thus they execute their tasks with direction and motivation consequently each team member executes his or her task right the first time. Communication as one of the key people skills leads to the establishment of health culture. A software development team with effective group communication enjoy growing, and healthy culture as each team member feel understood and respected, and as a result, this fosters the morale of the team members and hence, enhanced productivity. Effective group communication provides clear guidelines, and every team member has at his or her fingertips what is expected of him or her. This is vital as it allows the other team members to uphold a certain level of accountability amongst themselves.
Effective communication with a group increases job satisfaction. Upward communication empowers team members since such kind of communication often has feedback. According to functional theory, communication is a tool that can be used by a team or group members to make decisions and solve problems (Wittenbaum, Hollingshead, Paulus, Hirokawa, Ancona, Peterson, & Yoon, 2004). Communication aids team members as it promotes critical thinking and rational judgment. Furthermore, the theory posits that communication prevents group members from flawed decision making. And, therefore, group communication is paramount as a way of achieving a common goal. For group members to effectively solve problems and make appropriate decisions members must articulate interactions and procedurals rules. This implies that every team member will follow systematic procedures to accomplish the assigned tasks.
Software development project may not require people involved to work from the same place. This implies that people can still work from different places with a frequent meeting to harness progress. When such scenario exists in the group, communication plays a major role in the success of software development. This implies that all involved parties must cooperate and communicate in an effective, fast and easy manner from their different locations. To facilitate effective group communication in such situations collaborative systems and software are used. Such include shared calendar, instant messages, and video/audio conferences among many other tools that support groups working in a common task. Group communication facilitate shared decision making, exposures to diversity as well as synergy. Synergy refers to the probability to gain heightened quality of interaction when the team members’ characteristics are added together. Synergy makes the final product better as compared to what an individual could produce alone. Group communication also increases individual exposures to diversity and broadens the perspectives of each team member.
People involved in a project work be it software development or any other project participate as a team in almost all phase of the project. A group work saves time as well as resources; besides, group work enhances the quality of the end product. This implies that effective group communication is key to success in software development project. Software development involves working with a variety of people across different departments within an organization. Therefore, software engineers just like any other knowledge worker need to collaborate with others in reading designs as well as in reviewing codes (Darling, & Dannels, 2003). This implies that for the software engineer to understand the problem to be solved they spend a lot of time in communication as compared to coding. Therefore, other than the collective responsibilities to develop a particular code an individual working in a group of developers must have effective communication. The better a person is in communication the further he or she is able to advance his or her career. Communication is a personal skill that is crucial to the success of a person in all dimension. Software development team with professional communicator poses high success rate as effective communication skills help improve the end product in two ways; effective information gathering, as well as the synergistic problem, solving.
Darling, A. L., & Dannels, D. P. (2003). Practicing engineers talk about the importance of talk: A report on the role of oral communication in the workplace. Communication Education, 52(1), 1-16.
Wittenbaum, G. M., Hollingshead, A. B., Paulus, P. B., Hirokawa, R. Y., Ancona, D. G., Peterson, R. S., … & Yoon, K. (2004). The functional perspective as a lens for understanding groups. Small group research, 35(1), 17-43.
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