A common management problem people encounter with developers is relying on the assumption that great developers equal excellent product delivery. Yet, even the dream team of the most stolid professionals cannot conduct a mind probe to understand just precisely what you want. Since there is no place for vagueness or ambiguity during a tech project, here are five tips to help you effectively handle your tech team.
Hire the right people
Finding the right people you can work with is very imperative. Apart from hiring the dream team, you need developers that you can seamlessly converse with without resulting in harsh petty words or firing. Of course, the first thing to do when looking to hire developers is to review credentials and resumes, but it is more important to evaluate the person’s character. Is it compatible with yours? Can you bear to work with this person? Bear in mind that the project could drag on for months, so choose a person you can work with for many months without resorting to fistfights or conflicts.
Be forethoughtful with your questions. Developers are known to be notoriously introverted and only choose to speak up when there are no other options. Also, be proactive with introducing new proposals straight from the development team.
Be open-minded and unafraid to show your limitations
Be approachable and open to new proposals and ideas. After all, the team has more experience than you in the technical aspect of your project and could offer advice on a better solution for your requirements. Do not feel incompetent when all the technical registers are used; it is their area of expertise, not yours. Show them you can listen and not weigh in on every discussion at the drop of a hat. Attempting to bluff your way through a technical conversation will do nothing good for your credibility. You’ll gain more trust by honestly asking for explanations in the area you are having difficulty understanding. During conversations, it’s OK to have questions or interferences like “excuse me, can you explain this in layman’s terms?” They won’t hold your questions against you as you are providing input in other areas that are not related to technical discourse.
Trust your programmers
Your responsibility is to keep the entire project on track. Therefore, you shouldn’t be too intrusive and act like you do not trust the technical team leader’s judgment. Do not overrule your developers’ ideas so as to push yours. Trust their expertise and facilitate them to do their job. Don’t prescribe how to achieve technical success. They had trained for this, after all.
An ideal way to go will be setting clear objectives and timelines, from the project level (daily, weekly, monthly, annually) to the team level (deadlines, market milestones). Then let them work within the parameters set, let them define and organize the work to meet the aims and objectives. That way, your team won’t lose morale from your accidental intrusiveness, and instead, you will have more enthusiastic and energized teams and therefore better work results.
Reward the skill of problem-solving
Everyone loves to solve a problem of some sort. Some love puzzles, and others, chess. Developers like to solve tech problem and puzzles. Also, everyone appreciatesan incentive of sorts to foster that characteristic of problem-solving — developers are not different. But finding the perfect incentives for programmers can be a bit tough. It appears that software develops are not driven by common motivators like greed, money or power. Instead, show them that you are paying attention. Recognise the team’s efforts and laud them for their hard work, instil pride in efforts through all-hands meetings or group messages.
One other thing you can do is to compensate technical staff appropriately. It’s rare for technical people to complain about the pay but it does happen that tech developers leave for jobs with higher pay and recognition. So ensure they are properly compensated.
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