Communication

COMMUNICATION

Communication is the process of transferring information from a sender to a receiver with the use of a medium in which the communicated information is understood by both sender and receiver. It is a process that allows organisms to exchange information by several methods. Communication requires that all parties understand a common language that is exchanged. There are auditory means, such as speaking, singing and sometimes tone of voice, and nonverbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, or the use of writing. Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life:, home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur. Communication is the articulation of sending a message, through different media whether it be verbal or nonverbal, so long as a being transmits a thought provoking idea, gesture, action, etc.

Communication happens at many levels (even for one single action), in many different ways, and for most beings, as well as certain machines. Several, if not all, fields of study dedicate a portion of attention to communication, so when speaking about communication it is very important to be sure about what aspects of communication one is speaking about. Definitions of communication range widely, some recognizing that animals can communicate with each other as well as human beings, and some are more narrow, only including human beings within the parameters of human symbolic interaction. Nonetheless, communication is usually described along a few major dimensions: Content (what type of things are communicated), source, emisor, sender or encoder (by whom), form (in which form), channel (through which medium), destination, receiver, target or decoder (to whom), and the purpose or pragmatic aspect. Between parties, communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences, give advice and commands, and ask questions. These acts may take many forms, in one of the various manners of communication. The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating. Together, communication content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. The target can be oneself, another person or being, another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings).

Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic rules:

  1. Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols),
  2. pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and
  3. semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent).

Information systems are built by teams of people. These teams must include people with the expertise needed to build the system and to organize the teams in ways that suits the development process. It is necessary to ensure that tasks are assigned to the team members with the expertise needed by the tasks. It is also necessary to provide the communication paths that all team members are aware of each other’s activity so as to avoid overlap and unnecessary delays and to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Figure below shows the main activities in system development.

Some Activities in Problem Solving

To begin with, analyst discuss the system with users to familiaze themselves with it and to get a better idea of what the new system will be required to do. New ideas are also discussed and evaluated, with arguments and positions about the new system developed. Previous knowledge, or experience with similar systems, is used when developing new ideas. There may also be experimentation to find out if some of the various proposed ideas can be put into practice; opinions are formed and often used in design. During this time, a record of what is discussed and what conclusions were reached about the system is maintained. This record becomes part of general experience or group memory, which can be used in this or other projects.

There are other two important aspects here. One aspect is communication. In all of these processes, it is necessary to each agreements, to specify what we are to do and to represent it in an unambiguous way. The second aspect is organization of this work into a process that must eventually produce a new system.

Most important aspect of all these activities is to ensure that no ambiguities arise in discussions between the various people involved in analysis. Such ambiguities can easily arise because of the jargon used by different people-in particular, the users, who often speaks in terms common to their domain, and computer analysts, who may use computer terms, the goal of any analysis must be to ensure that all of these people eventually ‘speak the same language’ so that the correct requirements are identified.

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