Netguru’s clients are always included throughout the creation process of their applications. We understand that business requirements can change a lot, especially in the environment of the Internet. This is why we focus on the strong communication with a client. Here’s how we do it:
One of the most important parts of our communication is the weekly call. We meet with the client each week (preferably on a Monday) to sum up what has been accomplished in the previous week. This call is also a perfect opportunity to get the client’s feedback on the working features, and then to plan the iteration for the following week. We make sure to clarify any doubts about the tasks and to put the details into JIRA. It’s usually helpful when many issues were raised during the call, as it jogs our memories and may spark further discussion about new topics. After the call, the project manager sends his or her summary to all people involved with the project.
Aside from the weekly calls, we use emails and/or Slack to communicate on a regular basis.
Emails are good for sending files, discussing complicated features and keeping everything in one place. Asynchronous communication is usually preferred by clients who are busy with their other projects and duties. We make sure that each team member and the project management team is always added in CC for each email, to keep everyone on the same page.
Slack works for instant communication, feedback, or quick and unforeseen changes in the requirements. There are clients who prefer to be constantly involved in the project development, making Slack the perfect tool! Beside talking with the team, our clients can have access to other tools that we have connected with Slack.
Every feature that we discuss, either via the weekly call, email, or hipchat, ends up in JIRA. It’s the place where we gather all of the project requirements and where the final version of the feature goes. The tool shows the estimations of the tasks, the current status of the work (whether the ticket has been started, finished, delivered, accepted, etc.) and the planned date of release.
Previously, we used Pivotal Tracker, but JIRA stole our hearts - here's why.
The staging app is also an important way to communicate. Every single thing that we code before going live is deployed to staging, or in other words, our testing server. Here, the clients can click as much as they like and check out the results of our work. Being able to see and test a real working feature can also inspire interesting discussions and ideas for further improvements. It allows us to present a real representation of the product to the client.
Finally, at the beginning of each week, we send our clients a weekly summary of all the tasks and bugs that have been finished in the previous week and the ones we are working on currently.
So that’s our way of keeping in touch with clients. What works best for you?