Software Development Outsourcing Hub

Achieving Effective Communication in Software Development Outsourcing

January 11, 2024

Boosting communication in software development is crucial to product success. Just consider that 57% of IT projects fail due to poor communication

When communication is stilted, it leads to delays, higher costs and frayed relationships. In extreme cases, misunderstandings can even result in legal disputes. 

As you kick off your next outsourcing project, maximize communication with your teams. Get started by learning our key benefits and strategies for powerful communication.

Why Communication in Software Outsourcing is Crucial

By nature, software development is complex and dynamic. Top communication is a critical skill that can improve outcomes across the board. Here’s why revamping your communication in software development can go a long way. 

For Teams

Maximize Team Efficiency

Seamless communication ensures a regular flow of information to the right team members. When done right, developers better understand the task requirements, deadlines and client needs. 

Overall, this limits misunderstandings and coding changes, saving time and enhancing efficiency. According to McKinsey Global Institute, smooth communication can boost productivity up to 25%.

With strong communication, decisions about the software also include all stakeholders. This is especially vital for interdepartmental projects where non-technical expertise may inform software. 

Facilitate Agile Processes

Agile is the leading methodology for building high-caliber software. It’s based on rapid cycles of development, feedback and iteration. 

Given the nature of these “sprints,” teams must stay nimble with communication. Any misunderstandings or even omissions can completely derail the direction of the project. 

Build Stronger Connections

Synergy on teams can ensure closer collaboration throughout the project lifecycle. Focus on building relationships, so developers trust you and feel comfortable resolving issues. Doing so will reduce conflicts and produce well-aligned projects. 

For best results, ensure your IT teams have the chance to strengthen ties both in and out of the workplace. (Get some great ideas in our remote team management guide here!)

Foster a Company Culture

Honest communication can do wonders to create a healthy culture and a sense of belonging. Make transparency a priority, so that your developers feel connected to your company. 

Carefully consider your communication style for multicultural teams, too. Setting clear expectations can help get diverse teams on the same page. You should also embrace diversity with a positive, culturally-attuned approach. 

Retain Key Tech Talent

Communication is essential to enhancing recruitment and retention rates, too. Developers may get frustrated when communication is unclear or absent. In fact, 12% of businesses have lost employees due to communication breakdowns. This is particularly true if your staff feels like they’re working in silos and don’t feel like part of the team. 

Try setting up mentorship or team building to help your teams integrate better. Ultimately, you’ll improve retention by elevating connections and culture.

For Business

Enable Cost Savings

Communication in software development enables your teams to function at high efficiency. With seamless practices, you’ll be more likely to meet deadlines and keep goals on-track. As a result, you won’t bleed costs from delays or changes. Specifically, 26% of leaders reported that excellent communication reduced business costs

Boost Code Quality and Innovation 

Teams with harmonious organization are able to achieve a higher quality. This comes from well-aligned product goals and processes. For example, communication helps teams reduce bugs and undertake ongoing QA. 

At the same time, it’s the foundation for truly innovative software. Strong teaming lets companies reach their vision and prioritize new approaches, however ambitious. 

Enjoy a Competitive Advantage

Finally, communication empowers teams to go above and beyond their technical prowess. It’s a key factor not only for achieving high quality, but also fulfilling the timeline/budget. 

Keep in mind that 66% of clients have moved shop to a competitor due to poor communication skills. Overall, communication can enhance client relationships by making development transparent and well-coordinated.    

Strategies for Effective Communication in Software Development Outsourcing

Now that you know the value of communication in software development, let's strategize. Our hope is that these tips will enable you to nurture top collaboration with teams and clients.

1. Strike the Right Tone

Ultimately, it’s not just what you say but how you say it. When managing developers, it’s worth creating a team spirit based on respect and empathy. 

Even when things go wrong, avoid playing the blame game. Instead try to find common ground and stay receptive. For global teams, this open communication style is key to embrace cultural differences. 

2. Ask Clarifying Questions

Never assume. Ask for more information or clarify requirements. Be sure to also break down any industry jargon. This shows good active listening and prevents misunderstandings. 

Keeping in touch with your teams on a daily basis is essential to have that on-the-ground contact. Communicate constantly to ensure no key detail is left out.

3. Loop in the Right Stakeholders

Communication in software development depends on having the right people in the room. Do your due diligence to get the right stakeholders looped into conversations. So often software goes amiss because other departments weren’t consulted on matters. 

At the same time, you’ll want to escalate certain issues to the correct stakeholders. When in doubt, create a communication chart for your teams and clients, so it’s clear who to turn to. 

4. Know Your Communication Channels and Tools

Tools can support your communication protocols, making it easier on your teams. Give all developers access to your channels, such as email, Slack, WhatsApp and more. 

That said, be sure you don’t muddy the waters with too many tools. Keep the communication lines clear, so that your IT teams know how to stay connected. 

5. Document Detailed Processes 

You can modernize your work processes by creating detailed documentation. These written policies will help you keep all communication processes clear. At the same time, you may identify opportunities to trim bloated practices. 

Try visualizing your workflows and communication lines. Use not only calendars and organizational charts, but also technical roadmaps. (Miro is great for getting these complex processes down on “paper”!)

6. Set Clear Expectations and KPIs 

Tracking your team’s results starts with having goals in mind. Communicate KPIs to your developers, so that everybody can work towards this vision. Having a dashboard or internal thread to update on progress can be helpful, too.

For clients, you’ll also want to set these expectations clearly in the scope of work. Defining report frequency will make your client feel up-to-date on progress. 

7. Maintain Cultural Sensitivity 

Remote hiring is advantageous for companies who require specialized talent. Yet, you should be aware that your developers may come from distinct cultures. Communication in software development is vital to bridge gaps and create smooth logistics. 

Stay culturally sensitive by knowing every developer’s background. From here, you'll be better attuned to their diverse work style, expectations and needs.

8. Opt for Trust and Transparency 

Effective communication is the heart of any strong relationship. After all, 45% of employees believe poor communication negatively impacts trust.

That’s why you should thoughtfully generate trust with your teams. Avoid micromanaging and scolding, which can make your developers feel undervalued. Instead, let them take the reins on their work. Be an open door, but give them the autonomy to work under their own terms. 

Empower Communication in Software Development With Netcorp

Communication in software development outsourcing is the backbone of results-driven projects. Build trust with your teams and clients by leveraging our strategies. With them, you can effectively organize your developers and boost business outcomes. 

Establishing effective communication doesn’t happen overnight. As you implement better practices, don’t forget to lean on a trusted IT partner. At Netcorp, we’re keen to empower your business with honest, straightforward communication. Our developers are well-versed in best practices and always work closely with you. Reach out to us to get a sense of how we construct long-term relationships and top products.

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member

Paavo Pauklin is a renowned consultant and thought leader in software development outsourcing with a decade of experience. Authoring dozens of insightful blog posts and the guidebook "How to Succeed with Software Development Outsourcing," he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paavo hosts two influential video podcasts: “Everybody needs developers” and “Tech explained to managers in 3 minutes.” Through his extensive training sessions with organizations such as the Finnish Association of Software Companies and Estonian IT Companies Association, he's helped numerous businesses strategize, train internal teams, and find dependable outsourcing partners. His expertise offers a reliable compass for anyone navigating the world of software outsourcing.

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