Unfortunately, we can’t develop products in a vacuum where we can just tell the customer stuff will, “get there when it gets there.” We actually have to communicate what we are working on. My boss needs to know it for proper marketing and forecasting. The customer needs to know it so they can be reassured they are getting what they paid for. The team working on it needs to know what is expected at the end of a sprint or release.
However, can we all agree that we need to cool it with the spinning of the truth?
Please don’t mistake my writing on this topic as proof that I don’t struggle with it. Often, I gather requirements and turn them into work that doesn’t meet up with what was presented to me. Mostly because of poor follow through and clarification, I don’t always receive the message exactly the way it was meant. To give stakeholders exactly what they asked for, short accounts of conversations must be kept to keep the game of telephone from happening.
Have you left a meeting and sent a summary of what was communicated to allow anyone the opportunity to clarify?
Should you write more open ended user stories to give everyone a chance to fill in the blanks how they see them?
Can we sensor ourselves from putting our foot down, when asking the right questions and being patient is a better way to get what you want?
I could go on, and I probably should on my own because I need to continuously inspect and analyze my own communication habits so that I can better practice what I encourage everyone in my company to do. Also because it’s the responsible way to work with people. That should have gone first.
Call it a self-retrospective for a sprint. How did you improve your communication with your team and stakeholders? So simple it might actually work.