Does your business need a translator?

“The gap between the real world and IT Solutions is huge and the one who is able to bridge this gap to match business critical user needs wins the game,” says Solteq’s Client Executive Bengt Holmberg.

But, mapping out and understanding the nature of these gaps on paper aren’t enough. Software development companies today must be able to translate, adapt, and fine-tune technology, processes and productization into the world of the customer. Often times, that requires a “translator” to gain a solid understanding of both sides of the “gap”, and an adaptation of one side of the gap or both, in order to deliver a seamless customer experience. Success from the customer’s point of view, is generally measured by a very subjective, ‘how the experience made me feel-factor,’ and the margin for error is smaller than ever.

Web development is more than just programming requirements

To identify and solve the right problems, companies need to have the collective mindset that always asks the questions “why?” and “who” before deciding on any course of action. Gone are the days of “just make it look good.” We are living in times of “make it bring value – and look great.” This means more than just the programming requirements need to be considered.

Web application development today requires flexibility systems that are flexible enough to expand as client’s business requirements grow. The application development approach should be a collaborative process of discovery that takes patience, experience, and communication. Multiple concepts may need to be explored, discussed, and refined until you’ve reached a solution that successfully meets the business needs and technology requirements of your customer.

Jargon… To use or not to use?

What is jargon? Jargon is defined as special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and may not be well understood outside of that context. When you think of jargon, technical terms usually come to mind, like “API integration” or “software development lifecycle” – they have a specific meaning within the IT industry, but often have little or no meaning for someone outside of that profession.

As Nicole Radzwill pointed out in Quality and Innovation, “The use of jargon—or the avoidance of jargon—can either communicate competence in a field or alienate people who need to know more about it. Awareness of whether a term or phrase is jargon can help us understand whether we are communicating accurately.”

Using jargon in a situation when you need to align business needs with technology solutions can serve as a barrier to communication and widens the gap between the real world and technology. Word choice is critical – how you speak and write to your customer can either make them feel confident and at ease or cause confusion and annoyance. If you suspect there’s a disconnect at any point in the project, there may be a need for a translator to fill in the “missing link” between the development staff and the customer. The last thing you want to do is make your customer feel alienated.

But there are times when jargon is needed as a method for people to clarify complex situations, or a shorthand to speed up processes. As summed up in the article “In Defense of Jargon,” Colleen Glenney Boggs says “Jargon condenses meaning and allows us to share information effectively…it is deeply meaningful to the people who use it. Jargon can aid rather than hinder the expression of meaning, and the language itself.” Using the appropriate jargon in the appropriate situation can sometimes be a way of saying, “I belong here.”

For companies to function like well-oiled machines, they need free flow of communication throughout the company and everyone collaborating together to deliver high-quality and sustainable technology solutions that meet and exceed the true business needs of your customer.