“But that is already clear, isn’t it?”
Three tips to prevent miscommunication between Business and IT
The business analyst and the developer. They both have the same goal; the best IT solution for the customer. Yet these two colleagues can both work in a completely different world.
At indo, we have the functions requirements engineer and integration consultant. The requirements engineer maps the customer’s needs and sets the requirements. He or she often works at the customer’s location and coordinates with other stakeholders. The integration consultant usually works in the office and builds the solution on the basis of the requirements. He or she has the experience to assess what is technically feasible or not.
There is a moment when the requirements engineer communications his or her information to the integration consultant: “This is the problem … and this has to be the solution.” Despite the fact that these two colleagues can work together very well, it turns out it isn’t that simple. After one hour the conclusion is: we understand each other. We both know exactly what needs to be done. During the sprint we have no more questions and we both have exactly the same end result.
In reality it turns out to be slightly different. And we know it (hey, we’re not perfect). Therefore, we have three practical tips:
Grab a whiteboard marker and support your story with shapes, lines and arrows. It sounds like an obvious tip, but how often do we really do this? When it comes to visual design, we quickly outline it. When it comes to data, processes and timelines, we keep talking about it. Draw more and more often; processes, objects, applications and their mutual connections, timelines, roles (practice on your stick figures), everything!
‘Stupid questions don’t exist’, we all know the expression. Secretly we know that they do exist. You know that some questions that you have are common sense for the other person. Please, ask those stupid questions! You have your expertise and it is okay not to understand the expertise of the other person. It is an expertise for a reason.
- Listen, summarize, ask
Listen, summarize and ask questions. Let the other person talk and try to summarize what the other person has just told you in your own words. Check with each other; Is it true what you’re saying? This prevents assuming too quickly that you’re on the same line. Just check with yourself, do you feel that you can finish the sentence halfway through the sentence of your conversation partner? Assumptions are the mother of all …