Software development has seen a myriad of change over the past decade – spiral development gave way to RAD (rapid application development), agile, extreme programming, scrum, and variations thereof with a common goal: achieving faster, cheaper and better software development.
There’s no doubt that the scrum movement delivers releases faster – light years faster in some cases – than waterfall or even spiral methods. The cheaper is questionable because the costs of co-locating customers, reworking designs as the software grows, acquiring specialized skills and training is at least as high as on other projects. And is it “better”? Better is a subjective word that can mean higher quality (the jury is out on whether agile methods deliver higher quality) or better alignment to requirements (again a subjective comparison)…
The true assessment (IMHO- in my humble opinion) of “better” comes down to whether the customer business needs are appropriately articulated into technical requirements. Better depends on the communication skills of the customer team (who know their business) AND on the communication skills of the IT professionals.
1. True or false? – Most IT professionals do not know what the acronym TCPIP stands for?
2. True or false – Most IT professionals know exactly what Markup Language (as in HTML) really is?
(False – markup language is the computer machine code that takes markups such as to denote what to do with text (i.e., make it bold).
3. True or false – IT professionals who were computer science majors had to take a communications course in college?
(False, it is not usually a requirement for computer science majors to take a communications course in college.)
4. True or false – Most IT professionals come from a background of engineering, computer science, technology or math?
5. True or false – Most IT professionals are introverts?
Bonus question: True or false: Management in IT (and other professions) is expected to gain communication skills by “osmosis” as they ascend the corporate ranks?
(True, but this is fortunately changing as corporations realize how important is communication to delivering on customer “expectations”.)
How good are your IT professionals – would you give them a 10 out of 10 for communication? Could the “better” – in terms of faster, cheaper, better – be a function of how good at communication are IT Professionals?