Most of us work with a “technical” colleague, someone who is in the weeds with code and helps keep your site (or your client’s) up to snuff and bug-free. However, effective communication between technical and non-technical stakeholders can be a challenging task. Talking to these colleagues can sometimes feel like another language, and with that comes the need for these technical professionals to be able to effectively communicate their work and its value to non-technical stakeholders.
Cooper Joslin, a web developer at Social Driver, understands the difficulties that come with explaining technical issues to non-technical stakeholders. In a recent talk at the TransTech Summit 2023, Joslin discussed the challenges of keeping project managers in the loop, avoiding constant status update requests, and keeping clients happy. In short, Joslin’s presentation provided easy ways to make sure we all feel like we understand and are in alignment, using our agency structure as a framework. Here are some of the key takeaways from the presentation:
Establish a Relationship with Project and Account Managers
Project and Account Managers serve as middlemen between technical professionals and clients. They are there to help technical professionals in any way they can. Technical professionals should use their PMs and AMs as advocates, making sure that they understand the work being done and the value it brings. This helps establish trust between both parties and allows for more effective communication.
Transparency is key in effective communication. Technical professionals should strive to make their work transparent to their stakeholders, making sure that they understand what is being done and why it is important. Code should not be treated as a black box, but rather as a transparent process that non-technical stakeholders can understand.
Take Pride in Your Work
Technical professionals should take pride in their work and be willing to show it off. Explaining how a problem was solved, and the value that solution brings, can help non-technical stakeholders understand the work being done and the value it brings to the organization.
To achieve effective communication, technical professionals should aim to over-communicate. Communication should be constant and ongoing, with technical professionals providing regular updates to their PMs and AMs. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Effective communication between technical and non-technical stakeholders is essential for any organization. Technical professionals must be able to effectively explain their work and its value to non-technical stakeholders. Establishing a relationship with project and account managers, being transparent about the work being done, and taking pride in that work are all key components in achieving effective communication. By following these guidelines, technical professionals can ensure that their work is valued and understood by all stakeholders.