“Work can still be done without productivity. But smart work requires productivity.”
One of the key teams in any software project that needs to be as productive as possible is, of course, the development team. This is the team that makes it possible for the idea to turn into a tangible reality. However, with projects getting more complex and deadlines getting tighter, managers may find it difficult to consistently keep the development team to work effectively. Let’s have a look at ten ways for how we can make this task of encouraging the team to work as smartly as possible.
One of the reasons why developers often end up taking more time to deliver than expected time is because they spend a lot of time figuring out what they exactly need to do. This is why it’s important for the project manager to give detailed instructions of the project requirements to the developers so that they can plan out their work and get to it.
As simple as this sounds, listening to your development team throughout the project plays a crucial role in the overall success. When you hear out your team, they will feel empowered and valued. So, managers, make sure that you are discussing roadblocks, ideas, and issues that the developers are facing so that as a team, you can knock them out.
You can listen to your team in several ways such as weekly sprint meetings, 1-on-1, or just in a casual chat.
While developers’ job is to develop products/services which are easy in use, they love complexity. They love to get their hands on new trends and technology. After all, that’s how they become creative. For this reason, it becomes important that when allocating your resources for projects, make sure that the resources are able to work with different tools and technologies rather than the same one each time. Now, this isn’t always feasible in reality. However, when working on projects, try to make this possible. Developers will certainly admire this. (Do keep in mind that when allowing your developers to get experimental, provide them with enough time and space so that they can perhaps come up long-lasting solutions).
Focused and organized discussions are certainly pivotal to any project. It’s through discussions that you can figure out things like loopholes, opportunities and much more. However, no developer (at least on our team) enjoys being part of long discussions simply because they want to get to work so that they can deliver on time. This is of course fair enough. However, it is still the project manager’s duty to involve the development team in necessary discussions such as sprint meetings, decision making for which tool or technology to use and so forth. Keep the discussions short, sweet and to the point and you should be able to walk out of the meeting without the developers hating you.
One of the benefits of carrying out software development using methodologies such as agile is flexibility. When there is flexibility, it becomes easier to tackle obstacles and achieve goals. So its really important to allow the development team to work flexibly. Let’s say that they have decided to take task B first and then task A. However during the process if they swap, that’s okay as long as you are aware of the changes in the plan. Now project managers may ask, but then how do we make definitive roadmaps? The answer is you shouldn’t. In the end, the development team is responsible for bringing the design to life. So trust your team and allow them to work in a way that they are most comfortable with.
One of the biggest killers to motivation is being stuck. When you are stuck, you end up getting more and more frustrated. As mentioned earlier, development can get complex very easily. There can be unseen challenges that developers need to overcome. This is why you need to constantly be discussing with the team about the progress of the work. If it does happen that something is taking much more time, try to see if your team can work on another task and then get to this on later on. Having said this, it is also important that you help the development team figure out the issue as much as you can. A little research and support can help the development team to a great extent.
While the development team would want to spend as much time on the coding part, they too will need to communicate certain things with the management. These include roadblocks, progress, other issues and so on. Your job is to ensure that the communication channels they use are easy to use and not time-consuming. A few ways you can achieve this is by using Slack, Trello, Asana, and others. You will realize that when communication becomes a simple process, you no longer have to keep “bugging” your developers for the updates! It’s a win-win situation, you see.
Who does not feel uplifted when their efforts are appreciated? Whether the software projects are a success or not, its so important to thank the development team for their inputs. Just by doing little things, you can make the team valued and push them to work even more productively the next time.
Sometimes, developers like to take a break from coding. When possible, try to arrange stress-free activities for the team such as fitness games, a trip to a coffee shop or in-house party. This will allow the developers to get rid of any work-related stress and become more creative in their approach.
More than a technique to push your developers to be as efficient and effective, trust is part of the work culture. For any team to deliver quality, it becomes necessary for trust between the members to exist. Of course, this does not mean the elimination of meetings, reports, feedback and so forth. So, managers, while doing your job, trust your development team because they value quality just as much as you do.
Maintaining the level of productivity throughout the project can be a crazy experience. As per studies, it can take up nearly 25 minutes for an individual to get back to work after being distracted. For this reason, it becomes important to closely monitor your team’s performance level and make changes as required to achieve the goals. We have shared just a few of the ways to keep the team productive. However, for every team and every project, strategies can be different. Do you have any tips or experiences for managing teams? Let us know in the comments below!
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