Communication: The neglected technical skill?

Tracy Hall*, David Wilson, Austen Rainer, Dorota Jagielska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we discuss the importance of communication in software development. Communication has long been recognized as an important element of a successful software project. The quality of communication within the development team and between the development team and external entities impacts on the performance of the software project. However there is little evidence to suggest that approaches to software development have adequately emphasized high quality communications. Our findings suggest that the SEI's family of Capability Maturity Models, arguably the most influential models of software development, address communication in a very superficial way. We consider the impact of poor communication on the performance of a team of developers working in a software organization that has been assessed at CMM Level 5. We conducted multi-level interviews with all developers in the software team. Our main findings are that, although the team recognizes the importance of communication, many communication problems are reported. Furthermore, we found that human-centric processes, such as communication, were much less mature than the technical processes. We discuss the typical personality traits that may mitigate against developers being good communicators. We conclude that one way to overcome this is for development models to address communication more explicitly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGMIS-CPR 2007 - Proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGMIS CPR Conference
Subtitle of host publicationThe Global Information Technology Workforce
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2007
Event45th Annual Computer Personnel Research Conference, ACM SIGMIS CPR 2007 - Saint Louis, MO, United States
Duration: 19 Apr 200721 Apr 2007


Conference45th Annual Computer Personnel Research Conference, ACM SIGMIS CPR 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySaint Louis, MO


  • CMM
  • Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management


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