Write a discussion section that thoroughly describes what was "learned" in the case study on osmotic communications?
A good external communication can only be achieved when the internal communication is excellent (Carlson & Crawford, 2012). We have already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of osmotic communication. Osmotic communication is an excellent method until the team size gets too big. One can speak here about one’s troubles in a team without any fear of retaliation. For instance, the team manager can be informed if the schedule is unrealistic or when the code of a colleague needs to be refactored. The weaknesses inside a team can be judged and repaired without much effort. The team should focus on the task at hand and to attain this, they should learn time management. Time management is a huge factor in these types of communications (Gabellone, 2015). Hence, a strategy should be adopted to focus time. For example, setting a fixed guaranteed time every single day and scheduling people to execute the same task for a number of fixed days. An expert user needs to be accessible to the team in order to utilize as well as test the deliveries which are being sent frequently. In osmotic communications there is a feature of automated testing which helps the team members to move around freely during any time. The configuration management permits people to drop in and out of the tasks whenever they find it convenience. Hence, asynchronous checking in is allowed. When system integrations are frequently being done, mistakes and other errors that are being collected can be easily detected (Moalla, 2013). The important concepts learned are:
- Information radiator – this is a tool for communication which displays information to the team in real-time ("Open Access", 2015). The tools used are generally of low cost such as white boards, bulletining boards etc. Everyone in the workspace is responsible for retrieving as well as updating the information.
- Team space – it refers to the co-location of the members in the team for open and free collaboration and discussions. This aims to provide a close space to the team members for working efficiently but also maintaining some personal privacy (Schneckloth, 2009).
- Daily scrum – this is the regular planning and communication meeting which is held to keep a track of the daily progress of the iteration. Several questions are being discussed in this meeting and answers are sought after (Carlson & Crawford, 2012). This is the final step in any process that involves osmotic communication.
- Tooling – this refers to the tools which are used to make the communication more effective such as, reduction of roadblocks so that information can be collected, maintained and dissipated easily (Gabellone, 2015). The types of tools are:
- Low-tech high-touch tools
- Co-located teams
- Distributed teams
In osmotic communication, any development process which does not provide any contribution to the customer value is eliminated. This process helps to learn better about the needs of the customers and testing strategies. A short product development cycle time should be created in order to minimize the time between receiving a request and delivering the same. In osmotic communication, control and planning is based on responsibility i.e. the management fully trusts the team and the team repay this by executing the task efficiently (Moalla, 2013). Although it is necessary that the goals provided to the team are realistic and reasonable.
Although, there may be frequent conflicts among the team members but conflicts is the part and parcel of any organization. Conflicts generally arise due to difference in opinions and it is necessary sometimes to know about the perspectives of every member in a team ("Open Access", 2015). This is why sometimes open communication is avoided in companies to avoid conflicts since too many conflicts are definitely not a good thing for a firm.
Hence, here are some tips compiled to develop an environment where osmotic communication can flourish:
Being alert to signs or behaviors showing discontent
When communications are choked or rerouted, employees might be rolling their eyes or sighing. Hence, the origin of this dissatisfaction needs to be unrevealed (Schneckloth, 2009). Leaders often ignore these signs as they think that they are incapable of changing it or sometimes they think that it is the way employees generally are.
Respecting, encouraging and trusting employees
Employees are the most valuable assets of an organization. They should be made to feel safe as well as secure. If there is an atmosphere of fear, the environment for communication may get dysfunctional resulting in counterproductive behaviors.
Good communication skills and confidence are the basic requirements in a leader. To learn about communication means to learn about one and others as well. This would create a trust in oneself and the most favorable level of frankness will be attained and would also give the leader power to handle any type of employee situation arising in the team (Schneckloth, 2009).
Team members should never feel that their opinions are not welcomed. People and key issues need to be in a continuing relationship where the number of disagreements should be too less. Everybody should try to reach the same or similar conclusions which would be benefitting the company and its employees too. To move forward the issues related with the workplace need to be solved with determination. An action oriented plan should be developed so that employees can delve into the issues for the absolute truth and also reach to an agreement point.
The manifesto of this osmotic communication prefers interactions and individuals over the tools and processes. The principle is that business people along with developers should work together to achieve the project goals. Projects are built around motivated and encouraged individuals. Thus, a sustainable process is promoted (Gabellone, 2015). Here, the team focuses on ways for being productive and they are self-organizing. Thus, a team which promotes osmotic communication has several advantages and features. If used correctly, the company will be benefitted by large.
Carlson, J., & Crawford, M. (2012).Communication Stereotypes and Perceptions of Managers.SAGE Open, 2(4). https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2158244012464978
Gabellone, F. (2015). Digital Technologies and Communication: Prospects and Expectations. Open Archaeology, 1(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0005
Moalla, A. (2013). Who Is Responsible for Successful Communication?: Investigating Compliment Responses in Cross-Cultural Communication. SAGE Open, 3(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2158244012472686
Open Access. (2015). IEEE Trans. Profess. Commun.,58, 128-128. https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/tpc.2015.2436032
Schneckloth, S. (2009). Open Gestures. Visual Communication Quarterly, 16(3), 172-177. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15551390903097158