How To Manage a Software Development Team? 5 Tips That Increase Productivity and Improve Communication
Software developers have been one of the most in-demand professions in the market for years. The growing demand for technology means that more and more companies need people with a technical background, but managing a tech-driven team is one of the biggest managerial challenges today. What can you do as a leader to make this collaboration successful? In this article, we’ll share five tips that can help.
Are you interested in the topics concerning the leadership of the IT teams? Check out our article — 4 Secrets of Successful IT Teams.
1. Understand that programming is a passion, not just a job.
If you’ve ever browsed a forum or Facebook group for programmers or attended an IT event, you’ve surely noticed the enthusiasm with which programmers talk about their work and projects. Most of them do not limit themselves to work. They are constantly curious about new and better solutions. They regularly review industry news and want to be better and better at what they do. Many of them do something after hours — create their apps, write blogs, record podcasts, sell courses for beginners, and much more.
What is the conclusion? Software developers put a lot of energy into their work and expect you to appreciate it. So they may react badly to criticism or possible changes in their project. So if you are planning to make any changes to their code, you should communicate this accordingly. Try to appreciate their involvement and the effect of their work, then explain why the changes are necessary. Understanding the business value of these changes will ensure that they are not discouraged and will give their best to make the project a success.
2. Rather than inform, ask.
Programmers are usually skilled professionals who are usually willing to share their knowledge. They do not like to be confronted with a fait accompli — they prefer to have a tangible impact on their work and the development of the project they are involved in. Indeed you have seen job advertisements for programmers where the employer mentioned that employees have a real impact on product development in their company. It is an essential aspect of most IT professionals’ jobs that matters.
Why are we mentioning it? When you have a problem or any doubts about a project, don’t decide without consultation with your team. Show that you trust them and their opinion is important to you. Respect every team member’s opinion as their solutions can be precious and insightful. Good communication is key, so try to make sure everyone is willing to speak up and not afraid to express his opinion. This approach can result in not only successful teamwork but also many benefits to the overall project.
3. Be honest and responsible.
Be the kind of leader you wish you had yourself. These days, being a boss who only demands and doesn’t admit to mistakes is out of fashion. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and admit them to your team. And if something is wrong — say it openly. It will reduce unnecessary distance, and your team will trust you. However, honesty is not enough to be a good leader.
Another important characteristic of a leader is accountability. If you have promised that this is the last fix — try to make it so. If you promised to check a task at a specific time — do it. If you demand something from your team, you should also demand from yourself and set a good example for others.
4. Prioritize tasks.
Does the task you just unexpectedly assigned to a team member really need to be done ASAP? If so, why has it only now appeared on his wall of your project management tool? Unexpected situations happen to everyone, but if they are notorious — your team can ignore them. Good work planning is the key to good and efficient collaboration of a trusted software development team, so try to make tasks to be done ASAP rare and mark so only when you really need it.
We described in more detail the importance of monitoring tasks in a separate article — How to Set KPIs to Assess the Performance of the Outsourced Software Development Team?
5. Explain the business value.
Even if the person does not work directly with the client or business department, he or she should be familiar with the goals, missions, and values assigned to the project in which he or she is involved. It’s true that developers are usually focused on the technology part, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be aware of the business value. Suppose they know why a particular functionality is important. In that case, they will not only be able to do the job better but also come up with interesting solutions that you probably wouldn’t have known about. Give them a chance to discuss not only the technology but also the business and see how much you can gain by working together as a team.
Looking for programmers for your project? Or maybe do you need a leader to build a trusted tech team? Contact us and tell us about your needs and we will provide you with the best specialists on the market.