Bridging Communication Gap – the Agile Way
One of the most common problems often seen in organizations is incomplete (or the lack of effective) communication. Everyone knows the problem exists, but it is permanently in a “there is this communication problem we need to fix ASAP” mode. The ASAP just never arrives.
The team does not report issues in time, the higher management does not inform changes or decisions or changed decisions in time.
The management thinks, if there’s a problem the team will let us know, and never asks.
The team thinks, if there’s a change, the management will let us know, and never asks.
The management assumes the team knew about the changes.
The team assumes the management knew about the issues.
Everyone tries to do their best without causing inconvenience to others, but, with competing priorities, many fail to understand how their actions (or lack thereof) impact others. More often than not, a project manager, or someone in a similar position, is the scapegoat torn between not knowing the decisions and having to answer the team. At the last moment, all are in different pages of a vast book called Miscommunication.
The whole project topples.
No software or tool can fix this issue. Only transparent communication can. A solution often wrongly followed is to hire a “communicator” to bridge the gap.
The simplest and most effective solution is to provide opportunities for open conversation. The Agile way of working recommends regular meetings of the team and stakeholders to discuss ‘What worked well’ and ‘what didn’t work well’ – this will help bring issues out into the open, and explore potential solutions. These meetings, if conducted well, gives everyone a chance to speak up; thus ensuring that everything relevant gets communicated between them. If communication gaps do exist, they are brought to everyone’s notice.
Once the team starts meeting regularly, they will understand the impact of lack of communication and be inspired to take corrective action.
Do not wait for the gaps to occur – Get the team to talk regularly and sort out potential issues!