How to communicate with stakeholders in IT projects efficiently
Successful communication is vital in establishing effective partnerships. The way stakeholders interact with each other may impact one’s business either positively or negatively. Successful communication builds a positive attitude, creates a supportive environment, and as a result, increases the positive outcome of the final product.
In this article, we will dwell on types of communication and hint to you on how to improve your communication with internal and external stakeholders. Both demand timely, accurate, and helpful communication to satisfy their needs.
Types of communication
To determine the needs of your stakeholders, group them into one of two categories of communication: internal or external.
There are subtypes of internal communication: upward, downward, and lateral. This is how upward and downward should be understood: a project manager shares his vision of a project and listens to feedback (downward), and then delegates the product to upper-level management (upward).
Internal upward communication includes feedback, reports, and surveys that employees use to deliver information to team leaders. Thanks to upward internal communication, the top management knows when the changes to the business are necessary. For example, a marketing report may include statistics such as social media management, website visitors, and total leads generated.
Internal downward communication allows managers to relate goals, procedures, policies, and decisions of a company. Downward communication can include manuals, notices, speeches, meetings, etc. An example of downward communication is emailing employees explaining new regulations.
Internal lateral communication involves messaging, talking, and emailing between coworkers. Lateral communication boosts engagement and productivity within a team or department.
External communication is the interaction with other businesses, suppliers, customers, and the public. It is essential to manage this type of communication efficiently as it affects the company’s public image. External corporate communication includes marketing campaigns, press releases, and PR efforts.
How to ensure the high quality of communication between stakeholders in software project?
High-quality communication is one of the main pillars of work for us. With ten years of positive experience proved on Clutch and DesignRush, Exposit has developed some tips for effective communication with IT stakeholders.
Here are some of them.
- Set up a clear goal
A clear communication goal provides understandable directions that increase the confidence and productivity of the receiver. To communicate better, create your agenda, set a time frame for your communication, and choose a tool for it (meetings, emails, or webinars). In such a way, you’ll be able to measure whether the issue has been resolved and whether other steps are needed.
- Choose tools and channels
The communication channel you use is critical and needs to be efficient, easy to use, and encourage collaboration. Weight up all the channels available (in-person meetings or remote, non-verbal or written) and choose the most effective one depending on who you’re communicating with.
- Be clear
At any stage of work, communicate in a clear way. Don’t write like a robot or clerk! Use language that is easy to understand. Unclear communication may lead to multiple interpretations, resulting in productivity and profit loss.
- Look into feedback
Part of effective communication is monitoring feedback and working on the message. Complaints and suggestions provide valuable insights that help shape effective strategies and improve working procedures. Also, use alternative ways of receiving feedback: not only emails or calls. Consider using survey feedback and pivotal communications.
- Use project software for communication
Luckily, nowadays, technology can improve your business communication. There are plenty of tools to use for team collaboration. One of them is Jira: it is a great resource that can help you build your roadmaps with various features in it. In short, a product roadmap illustrates your team’s strategic vision for the relevant stakeholders. The Jira scrum board is beneficial for teams as it visually displays the progress of projects during the development cycle.
Bring the effective communication to your IT project
The tools for effective communication largely depend on the size and preferences of one’s business. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. One thing is sure: with the right tool in place, you will be able to keep in harmony primary and secondary stakeholders within one IT project.
Exposit has been successfully managing communication within IT projects for ten years, receiving positive feedback and helping clients guide their ideas to market. Visit our Clutch and DesignRush profiles for more reviews or contact us to meet up in person and discuss your software idea.