When you’re working with developers, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is on task and prepared to meet your deadlines. Good communication and the right tools for the job are essential to ensuring all tasks are completed on time.
Here are some helpful tips on managing your project and your development team.
Set Clear Expectations
First and foremost, you have to make sure your team knows exactly what you expect from each individual and the team as a whole. Spell out your expectations in writing, or in a pre-development presentation.
Make sure everyone is aware of the part they play in the development process, and when they are expected to complete their part. Send reminders, check for updates, and make sure to stay in communication with everyone on the team. Also, keep yourself open for questions and comments from the team to help solve any problems quickly.
Using Screen Sharing Software
Using screen sharing software within your development team can help solve problems or explain expectations and processes from the comfort of your own desk. In addition, it’s a great way to communicate with remote developers that you can’t interact with in person.
Screen sharing software provides an opportunity to show your team exactly what’s on your computer screen (or for them to show you theirs). This can make explaining complicated tech processes and terms much simpler and more efficient since the explanation will include visual examples.
Take The Project Step By Step
Outlining your project in a step by step plan can help map out what will happen during development and everyone’s role in it. Create a step-by-step plan that you and your team can reference during the development process. Include deadline dates, each team member’s responsibilities, contact information for everyone on your team, and the expected outcome of the project.
An organized and well-run project is much more likely to succeed than one that is spontaneously put together and put into motion with no clear plan in place.
Employ Productivity Tools
There are dozens of software tools to help ensure productivity. Tools such as Cold Turkey help to limit certain websites that your team can access, such as Facebook and other social media. This keeps your team from spending time on social media or other sites when they should be working on their part of the project.
Other productivity software can help you setup up digital workstations and meeting places, providing a place for your team to meet and discuss the project freely. This is especially useful if you’re working remotely; you’ll want somewhere that team members can meet up and have questions answered or suggestions made.
Require Updates From Your Team
Along with setting expectations, you’ll want to make sure your team is providing updates on your project so you can be sure it’s delivery will be on time, and in the format that you have requested.
While it’s your job to ensure everyone is doing their part, requiring the team to give updates on their own can inspire them to remain productive throughout the day, knowing they will have to give a report on what they’ve accomplished.
Ask For Help If You Need It
If you don’t understand some of the more technical aspects of your project or are struggling to manage a large team of developers, it’s perfectly okay to reach out to a colleague and ask for help, as long as you’re not impeding on their projects.
Managing a team can be difficult and time-consuming, and the more people there are, the harder it is to keep track of them all. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance should you feel you’re falling short in your management.
Help Remove Obstacles
While keeping up to date with your team is important, at the end of the day you’re there to make sure their job goes smoothly. This means removing any and all obstacles that get in the way of their progress.
Is there any confusion about the project? Solve it. Are there problems with the hardware? Fix it, or get it fixed.
Your team is there to serve you, but to do so, they must have access to the required tools for the job. Make sure the development team has everything they need to deliver your project accurately and punctually.
Understand That Development May Not Be Your Expertise
You hired developers to develop, right? That means you hired the experts in the field to do an expert job. You’re probably not an expert in development if you had to hire someone, so leave the development to them.
When they tell you something is wrong, or that they need a certain accommodation to complete their job, provide it. No one knows better than they do what tools they need to get the job done.
Remember That Management Should Include Respect
Any good manager knows that respecting his or her employees goes a long way. Showing respect for the developer’s craft and talents can go a long way in inspiring to do their best work.
Keep up with their projects, but don’t pester them all the time. Let them do the work, and ask for status updates only when necessary, or require them to provide updates. Managing your team requires you to not only know when to step in but also when to step back and let them take the wheel.