Good Communication Requires Fewer Tools and Systems
I’ve been building software for a long time and with so many different people to boot. What’s fascinating to me is that there are just as many different ways to build software as there are products to build!
In other words, the systems and methods that can be used to build stuff are deep and wide, spanning from the super-simple to the super-complex.
Another interesting dynamic that I’ve discover is that the complexity of the system is directly related and intimately tied with how well the team communicates.
If the team is autonomous, independent, highly-motivated and, above all, has a world-class communication rhythm, then the system that they need to use to build software can be very simple (or almost non-existent).
On the opposite side of the spectrum are teams that are not aligned very well and who do not communicate very well naturally. These teams end up with more complex systems of management and product development.
In other words, a team that communicates well needs to lean less on a system of management than a team that communicates poorly.
We are, in fact, building a little software here and there but because we have near-flawless communication we really don’t need a complicated system of management.
In fact, it’s been entirely reduced to a Google Document that we both hack on and work through during the day. It really doesn’t get any more simple than that; a living document that we update regularly.
In addition, we have a daily standup to walk through tactical ToDos, typically in the morning. Although we communicate throughout the day I still think it’s important to have an explicit time to connect, meet, and discuss the tactical needs of the project.
Simply put, the better your communication is the less you need systems and tooling to help you get work done. This goes for any size team in the context of any size organization, by the way.
It’s worth it then to invest in making your team’s communication as good as it possibly can be. Building an organization based on trust is a good place to start.
Originally published at John Saddington.