Understanding the Client's Language

As a business owner, how many times have you found yourself thinking “It’s all Greek to me!” whenever discussing with a designer, a software engineer, or any service provider in general? That could happen even when all parties involved express themselves using perfectly good English. In such situations, getting everyone on the same page is essential for the future of the project, or even of the company. This is where I, the technology interpreter, come into play. Because I’m able to understand the languages of business owners, designers and software engineers, I can easily translate them all into a language that can help your software project take off.

Let’s first take a look at the aspects that enable me to understand the client’s needs, desires and expectations. Grasping the meaning of each of these can bring everyone involved a step closer to creating an innovative software product.

Understanding the Mission and the Vision

Products change, and so does the market, but a company’s mission and vision tend to remain the same. However, because not everyone with an idea for a software product is tech savvy, being able to transmit your idea is not always an easy thing to do. At this point, it’s no longer about hard work, but about the ability to transmit and receive ideas. Misunderstandings are often the reason why software projects don’t make it or don’t ever come into existence.

Throughout my professional life, I’ve come to understand that establishing a ‘vision match’ with business owners is mandatory for overcoming their challenges. That vision match implies understanding the value of your proposed solution, the power of establishing an unanimous view with your prospect customers, and the plan to bring it all together while minimising the risks.

Understanding the Business Context

When working on your software project, are you sure that your designers and software engineers understand your competitors, the potential market and your short to mid-term strategy? You might think that these are business aspects that those two parties are better off not knowing. Quite the contrary! Still, you shouldn’t expect them to conduct the research leading to these results.

As a technology interpreter, I can ensure not only that these details are not only available, but also known by the designers and engineers working on your software project. After all, without having a clear image of the end-user, they might create something that’s unwanted or useless. Not only that, but misunderstanding the market can determine you to lose your competitive edge. It’s essential at this point that everyone involved understands what is at stake.

Understanding and Improving Communication Patterns

The way business owners in need of a software product communicate with their designers and engineers can vary wildly from one company to another. Sending out an email or posting on a cloud-based team collaboration platform such as Slack doesn’t mean that the receiving end has understood all of the nuances of your message. Technology can help amplify our reach, and can certainly improve timely delivery of messages, but it cannot replace communication altogether. What more, when developing a strategy, data, technology and media take the main part and leave little room for communication. In fact, the latter should be the framework sustaining the entire system, especially since otherwise everyone can perceive things differently.

Another aspect that you should keep in mind is feedback given to and received from the designers and software engineers working on your project. Including feedback loops is essential in the software development process. At the same time, by ensuring that the transmitted information is short and meaningful, such feedback loops don’t go on forever and ever. Instead, these will ensure that the project goes as planned, while also acting as a foundation for learning.

In the end, I consider that communication is essential both to your company’s growth and to your software development projects. Many mistake communication for a simple exchange of messages, when instead this concept involves an exchange of meaning between the involved parties. It is meaning that often goes missing, and it’s the lack of it that causes software projects to go awry, simply because the other parties don’t resonate with you. Moreover, meaning can only be attained through communication, as we cannot know anything that we cannot communicate.

For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk. We learned to listen. – Stephen Hawking

Keen to learn how I interpret the languages of designers and software engineers? Then stay tuned, as I’m going to discuss these topics in detail in our upcoming blog posts! Meanwhile, if you’ve found value in the way I interpret the client’s language, don’t hesitate to get in touch and to share this post on your social media accounts!