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An Experiment in Clear Communication

It's one of those things not said out loud, but some managers prefer that "geeks" not talk to {customers, sales people, CxOs, ...} claiming that "they don't know how to talk" to these people, and that they create havoc.  But it's hard to believe the problem (where it actually exists) is innate.

The sixth Agile principle is "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation."  Agilists have seen, again and again, how customers and developers do learn each others' languages and practice respectful, constructive communication, when they get to work face-to-face.

It takes a little time, and sometimes it's necessary to offer encouragement to those resistant to change.  So, it's not unusual to find Agile leaders thinking about how to encourage better communication in and between teams.  The Dreyfus Model for Skills Acquisition has been talked about lately at the No Fluff Just Stuff Conference (by Dave Thomas) and at a CharJUG event (by Andy Hunt).  Cory Foy took these suggestions to heart, and tried using the Dreyfus Model ideas while working with a colleagues on his XP team.  It looks like it would apply equally well to conversations between developers and customers, where each party is trying to understand the other's point of view.

Read what happened on his blog.  Foy is an Agile software developer living in Columbia, MO.

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