1 Simple Concept to Align Business and Tech Development

It’s in our nature to pushback against the things we don’t inherently understand, and that pushback is a sad reality for many businesses attempting to align business and tech development.

Uniting teams can be a surprisingly polarizing issue, but I think Occam’s razor can give us all a little bit of hope. Meaning, if you look at the root of both business and tech development, you’ll see one simple rule that may resolve any misalignment between your business developers and your tech developers.

The Simplest Answer is Often the Correct Answer

Business and tech development should have exactly the same goal. Two parts, one singular goal.

But, somehow, there exists a disharmony between business and tech operations and, while the divide between business and tech dev is gradually disappearing, there is still a marked disconnect between these two halves.

Thanks to our natural inclination to pushback, it’s easy to choose sides; it’s easy to focus on the approaches that make business dev and tech dev look different. But, to be frank, that’s a real bummer for everyone on both sides of the fence.

Because when they are aligned, operations are more congruous, ideas are more well-rounded, and balance returns to the workplace. And because, if you look at the bigger picture, there is one very simple concept that intrinsically unites business dev and tech dev; one truth that confirms business and tech are two halves of an inextricable whole.

The Root of the Relationship

At their core, business and tech (and each of the people fulfilling those respective roles) are pursuing the same objective; they have the same ambitions, the same hopes and, ultimately, the same crave to be understood. What they don’t always share, however, is the same language. It’s that simple barrier that, if you ask me, creates the greatest rift between business developers and tech developers.

The language we use to express ourselves and our goals determines the way we understand others. In a not-so-unpredictable turn of events, it also determines the way we’re understood by others. Even parallel paths and shared goals can look alien when heard in a unfamiliar lingo.

Because biz and tech often rely on different terms and different milestones, business developers and a tech developers can express the same desire or describe the same motivation using totally different words. And, in another not-so-surprising turn of events, they can often misunderstand each other.

And then… the pushback and an operations disconnect.

If you and your team don’t have time for confusion or disunity, remember this: the one simple concept that will align business and tech development. (This is the Occam’s razor event referred to above…)

The satisfaction of your consumer defines your success.

Whether you’re a software developer, product designer, a CTO, CEO, or etc, your success is wholly contingent on satisfying your consumer, and everything you do in that role should be motivated by end-user experience.

That’s it.

Everything you do should be driven by creating a better end-user experience for your consumer.

So business dev and tech dev have the same goal. Each half may see the map a bit differently, but the “treasure” is always in the same place. However you read the plans or reach the end-game, the proverbial treasure is always buried in consumer happiness.

Whether you’re reworking policies, platforms, features, marketing or materials, every choice should centered around fostering positivity in your consumer base.

The Yin and Yang

Business and technology give rise to one another. These sometimes opposing though always complimentary operations can’t really exist without each other and, quite like the Yin and Yang, each perpetuates and balances the other.

In different words, business dev and tech dev require one another in order to reach the same one goal. When business and tech are aligned, teams are more positive, productive, more cooperative, and they produce overall greater returns.

Although business (in the collective sense) must start with business, with a solid business plan that is scrupulous but also capable of evolving, business is also driven by tech. Without technological development, business would become stagnant and irrelevant.

Similarly, technology couldn’t grow and advance without a structure. Business gives tech a skeleton with which it can run. So business and tech are symbiotic; they need each other. And even when they don’t understand each other, they’re end-games are the same.

It all comes down to the language we use to talk to each other, and an ever-underlying goal to satisfy the the consumer of your business and your technology.

Encouraging Unity Between Business and Tech Development

A disconnect at work can be like a crack in a dam. Put enough pressure on it, and the whole thing will come crashing down. But there are ways to bring your workforce together. Believe it or not, you can align business and tech development.

While the building blocks of company culture and cohesive team members is the stuff of another topic altogether, there are some basic things you can do to encourage unity at work.

First of all, you need to create a work environment that is positive and cooperative. You need to demonstrate that each member of your team is valued, you need to acknowledge good work, and make reached milestones a collective achievement.

Encourage your employees to talk to each other, to work together, and create approaches to problem solving together. Create clear goals and talk plainly about how your workforce reached them or didn’t. Ask questions. Take accountability for your own actions. And, find relevant ways to bring your workforce together socially.

Host company events with activities that will make people work together and laugh together at the same time. Consider eating together. Consider inventing a healthy competition or adding a rewards system (especially in place of a penalty system that may be corrosive to employee satisfaction).

Another thing? You also need to hire people that compliment your company and workforce. If business and technology are all about perpetuating one another, you can’t keep non-cohesive people on your team. Of course, everyone deserves due opportunity, but you shouldn’t employ people who don’t perpetuate a positive, cooperative company culture. Just as good leadership requires you to stoke the fire, it also requires you to pull the plug when and where necessary.

Be creative and engaged, and your workforce will follow suit.

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, business and tech need each other; they are reliant but reciprocal and fostering connection between these operations will improve your company. From internal dynamics all the way to the consumer perception of your offering, business and tech alignment is critical to optimizing your team, your products, and your returns.

Remember the one simple concept that will help you align business and tech development, and you will prosper.

Tell us your thoughts on business and tech dev. Share a story or comment below.

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Mallory

Mallory Merrill is product manager and editorial director for DevSquad, a true Agile software development company in Salt Lake City, Utah. Working for more than a decade in the technical world of content- and software-writers, Mallory aims to bridge the gap between code and copy. Her work is driven by a passion for language, and the belief that effective communication is the backbone of all healthy businesses.

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