6 Different Team Communication Techniques for Agile Projects

There are no communication techniques that are specific to just Agile but can be used on any project no matter the methodology.

Osmotic Communications

Osmotic communication is information flowing in the background where teams can pick and choose when to contribute. This type of communication is common in co-located teams where the team are sitting together and can overhear each other’s conversations. As distributed teams can’t overhear each other this type of communication isn’t yet possible.

>> More Info on Osmotic communication by Allistair Cockburn

Active Listening

Active listening is used to ensure both parties understand the topic of conversation. There are three ways to accomplish active listening by repeating exactly what the person says, paraphrasing by summarising what was discussed and relaying it back and reflecting on the conversation that just passed. All these techniques will result in a mutual understanding of a conversation.

The progression of our listening skills is internal listening (how will this affect me?) to focused listening (what are they really trying to say?) and then finally to global listening (what other clues do I notice to help me understand what they are saying?).

There are 3 Levels…..

Level 1: Internal Listening

We hear the words spoken but interpret through our own understanding trying to put them into context how it affects you.

Level 2: Focused Listening

At this level, we let go of our own thoughts and embrace what the speaker is saying by putting ourselves in the mind of the speaker.

Level 3: Global Listening

This is building on level 2 but adding a higher level of awareness to pick up on subtle physical and environmental indicators.

>> More Info on Active Listening by Skils You Need

Social Media Based

There are great social media tools readily available to teams to utilise which enable IM between team members and can help organise social events. There is a great book called Strategic Integration of Social Media into Project Management Practice that goes into more detail about how a company should be using social media.  What I like about the book is that you don’t have to buy the whole thing: you can just buy the chapters that are relevant, which makes it much more accessible.

>> More Info on Strategic Integration of Social Media into Project Management Practice

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique where everyone gets to put forward ideas towards a specific problem. The term was popularised by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination.

>> Applied Imagination Free Download

Two-Way Communication

Two-way communication is a form of transmission in which both parties involved transmit information.

>> More Info on Two-way Communication in Business

Feedback Methods

5 great way of getting feedback from stakeholders would be:

  1. Surveys
  2. Feedback boxes
  3. Reach out directly
  4. User activity
  5. Usability Tests

This article is part of the our 100 Agile Tools & Techniques epic article based off the PMI list of recommended techniques and tools in their PMI-ACP certification syllabus. 

Shane Drumm

Shane is an Agile Project Manager who specialises in digital web projects. He has worked with numerous distributed teams in Asia, Europe, US and Australia. In his spare time, enjoy travelling, cycling, digital start-up ventures and hustling to help other business owners with their digital presence. Find out more about Shane on shanedrumm.com and please reach out and connect with Shane on LinkedIn.

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