10 Ways To Get Different Teams To Work Together When Creating Software
When thinking about developing software, usually the programmers are immediately the people who come to mind. However, it takes more than programmers to get a piece of software to market. In fact, a marketing team is an essential part of the process. However, they're often either kept in the dark or brought in a little bit too late. There is a way to fix that.
It's important that marketing professionals and programmers work on a project together to ensure success. We asked members of the Forbes Technology Council how to handle two different teams working together on the same project. The advice given offers a few different ways to bring the two teams together to execute a project successfully.
- Establish Leadership And Culture
By establishing a culture of collaboration and consistent communication, companies place themselves in more optimal positions to have inter-collaborative departments. A culture of collaboration and teamwork starts with the leadership and the company culture. That then sets a precedent for the rest of the organization. Making sure those in leadership positions from both teams have regular meetings is a good idea to keep both teams in the know. - Alexandro Pando, Xyrupt
- Create Cross-Departmental Teams
Communication between two teams is crucial. Having a marketing person in development projects (e.g., product manager) or having a technical team member lead part of the marketing team helps when they are defining use cases. This approach lets both teams have a common understanding of capabilities from the beginning ensures both take ownership. - Viren Gupta, Eponym
- Let The Primary Team Lead
For market-driven projects, start with the marketing view and align it to the execution. Translate the press release to a rationale/overview, customers to personas and features to use cases to guide the engineering team. For technology-driven projects, reverse the process and extract out details for external communication, both content and target audience, to equip marketing. A skilled product manager is key to these successful "translations." - Ketaki Rao, Jivox
- Add Marketing To The SDLC
The software development lifecycle (SDLC) usually entails some version of research, design, development, and testing and user acceptance. However, if you introduce marketing alongside the SDLC, it becomes part of the process. - Daniel Hindi, BuildFire
- Use Product Managers As Liaisons
Interrupting programmers is costly, and it's not always reasonable to expect that they will understand the business upon which their code runs. That said, one of the great values of product management is that they are often the glue that sticks the product together, interfacing with all parts of the company. Leverage your product managers to translate between engineering and marketing. -David Murray, Doctor.com
- Schedule Huddles
We have marketing and programmers conduct quick huddle meetings to go over what is being developed and why it is being developed. Developers get answers to their questions on customer usage scenarios and product positioning in the market. Marketing people get understanding on technical key points, which they can use to sharpen their market positioning. Huddles are effective when conducted once or twice a week. - Mandar Bhagwat, SpadeWorx Software Services
- Leverage Processes And Rules
We have clear processes and rules for every project that gets to our Kanban board. We strictly follow the agile principles in our workflow. It helps our marketing and development teams prioritize the projects they work on together, communicate easily and deliver quality solutions on time. - Ivailo Nikolov, SiteGround
- Complete A Market Requirements Document
If you wait until the product is complete, you are way too late to effectively market it. Collaboration at an early stage is best accomplished by the technical and marketing leaders co-authoring a complete market requirements document (MRD). A codified, tangible document eliminates the guesswork of who agrees to what and sets the proper prioritizations in stone for the whole company to see. - Billy Bosworth, DataStax
- Think Outside The Stereotypes
It's easy to stereotype programmers as "resistant to change" and those from a marketing department as too "free-thinking" to understand tech limitations. However, both teams generally have the same goal in mind: growth and company success. Try letting the two teams meet outside of the confines of these workplace stereotypes (e.g., an after-hours mixer). You may find that common ground is met and issues get resolved. - Jason Gill, Attracta
- Assign A Chief Visionary Officer
Every company needs a founder who accepts an ancillary role. The role of CVO (chief visionary officer) helps employees focus on a common mission. Once all team members believe in a common vision, the rest is relatively easy. The common vision can then be translated into an executable strategy by breaking down each milestone into smaller tactical steps that can be clearly understood and followed. - Karin Lachmi, Bioz
Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Forbes Technology Council.