How to Translate Techie
Communicating development concepts and project details to non-technical people
Sometimes it feels like miles (and another language) separate your technical team and the people driving the project – the clients. The clients don’t understand the coding language or project intricacies of what it takes to get the job done. With two groups speaking completely different languages, it’s difficult to maintain efficiencies and deadlines. So how do you translate technical requirements into non-technical concepts?
The answer is simple. You hire a skilled technical translator. It’s a skill to communicate the needs of a client to a technical team in a way that will produce not only a product the client is satisfied with delivered on time and within budget, but also create something that anticipates the client’s unspoken needs.
Both sides need to be kept aware of changes in the scope and what that will mean to deadlines. A Technology Project Manager has no time to become a “Yes” man. Remember the golden rule of technology project management – Every action has an equal and opposite reaction (to the projected timeline and budget).
Translate How they Work
Your clients should have an understanding of how developers work. Communicated correctly, it can appear to be a real value-add in the project. Communicated incorrectly, it seems like waste and delay. Explain how developers first strive to understand the project, then they plan possible ways to tackle it. Next is modeling the software for better understanding, choosing their tools or the way they’ll go about the project, creating the code, testing, deploying, and finally updating (as needed). This process is a lot more in depth than creating a slogan or logo.
Provide the Digest Version Not an Annotated Anthology
The technical Project Manager must act as a filter – communicating between both sides of the important information. If a client hears constantly from an overly skittish development team that communicates every little ripple in a project, after a while they will tune out all communication, even the important points.
Deal in the What, Not in the How
If you have a skilled team of developers they should handle the how for you based on the specifications of the project. One of the most frustrating things for developers is people who know enough about technology to make unrealistic demands using partial programming language based on a blog post they read.
Shield your development team from this technical hubris and communicate the requirements, opening up a discussion on how best to meet the clients’ needs.
Learn Their Language
If you don’t know the language and acronyms developers use, you can’t translate it to your clients. You don’t need to know how to code but you do have to understand the words the programmers give you. Taking notes on your discussion with the development team and reading them word-for-word to your client is not translating and won’t help anyone understand the issues at hand.
Oyova is Skilled at Translating Technical Projects
At Oyova we can help you talk to your clients’ needs. Our seasoned technical team understands how both sides communicate differently and handles the translation between the two groups.
Call us today to discover how we can help you better communicate with your clients on technology projects, leaving you more time to handle your other numerous demands.
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