Developing Relationships: 10 Tips for Managing a Software Development Team

As a manager, leading a software development team is inspiring and exhausting. Problem is, management does not come easy for everyone.

In a recent study, 58% of managers confessed not to have received any management training. Most managers in the workplace get promoted for what they do, not for their managerial skills. As a result, we have managers with no training and management skills.

Tech companies need managers capable of leading teams to deliver high-quality products. Studies have proven that managers can become successful by emulating other successful managers.

Today, we want to help you learn how to manage teams in the workplace. To do this, we have compiled the top 10 tips for managing a software development team.

Create an Action Plan

Planning ahead allows you to set clear goals. Goals promote teamwork and collaboration with efficiency. This drives your team to develop a high-quality product.

To set specific and measurable goals, use the SMART goal setting strategy. This strategy leaves no room for misunderstanding. As such, the team will have goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

It is important to define your workflow too. Without a workflow, the team will not have clear goals and tasks. A streamlined workflow removes distractions and allows the team to focus. This improves collaboration.

Delegate Tasks

Task delegation is key to achieving goals before a deadline and maximize productivity. A lot of managers lack the skills to delegate tasks. The good news is that they can learn how to delegate tasks.

When you assign tasks to workers who lack skills, and experience, failure is possible. To avoid this, practice the following. At the start of a new project, ask your team who wants to do what.

This enables team members to pick tasks they are passionate about. Passion streamlines productivity and helps in the development of a high-quality product.

Practice Active Listening

Want to know and understand the status of your project and team members? The key is active listening. As a manager, active listening is making an effort to hear your teams inquiries and comments.

If you have questions, this is the right moment for you to communicate your concerns. Remember, your role as a manager is not to control but to maintain happiness and keep the team motivated.

Active listening calls for checking on team leaders on a regular basis. By showing genuine interest, it encourages the team to approach you and ask questions.

Have a Productive Environment for Your Team

In the past 5 decades, researchers have carried out polls to find out ways to motivate employees. One factor that stood out is having a productive environment.

A productive environment is more than a large room. It should have a positive atmosphere and be aesthetically pleasing. To increase productivity and creativity, create a productive environment.

A poor working environment promotes a toxic workplace culture. To allow the team to focus, choose a location away from the rest of the business.

Pick the Right Project Management and Collaboration Tool

Project management tools are essential for teamwork and collaboration. These tools help the team structure tasks and support structured communication. There are solutions out there that enable team members to manage projects.

Examples of project management and collaboration tools include:

  • UberConference, Social Chorus, Skype G-Suite and Slack for communication
  • Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox and TipHive for document collaboration and sharing
  • TeamGantt, Worksection, Jira, Wrike, Taskworld and Eylean board for managing project tasks
  • MindMeister for mind mapping
  • GitHub for version control and managing computer code

Maximize Productivity with Agile Practices

To structure teams and streamline productivity, use Agile practices. In a 2018 survey, researchers found that 97% of organizations use Agile.

The Agile method accelerates the speed of delivery for solid software products. Not only that, Agile practices enhance customer satisfaction. They enable teams to manage the entire process from planning to customer delivery.

You may be wondering how the Agile method works. Well, it promotes the delivery of small chunks over time intervals called sprint. As such, team members focus on the project and catch any issues early.

Another software development technique you can use is Microservices. Designed to structure software as small services, it improves on modularity. This makes it easy for developers to build, test and deploy services.

Motivate Your Team

Team building is the most important investment you will ever make. Here is why. It increases collaboration, encourages communication and trains the team to mitigate conflicts.

There are many team building activities you can try. They include:

  • Escape room adventure
  • Bushcraft
  • Company picnic
  • Informal races
  • Volunteering at the local animal shelter

Doing this will reward you with engaged employees.

Apart from team building, there are other ways you can use to motivate your team.

  • Be a supportive manager
  • Reward your employees
  • Provide room for your employees to grow
  • Be transparent
  • Offer food-based perks at the office’
  • Recognize your employees’ achievements

By motivating your employees, you keep that positive energy going. This enhances productivity and collaboration.

Be a Role Model for the Team

One of the main roles of a manager is to encourage organization among team members. To ensure this trickles down to team members, be a role model for your team.

As a manager, you need to be aware of all tasks, deadlines and project requirements. To organize this information in a presentable way, use mind mapping software. This will encourage the team to complete tasks fast.

Emphasize on Proper Time Management

Time management is a crucial skill. It enables you and your team complete tasks within a short period. Not only does this free your time to learn but it helps you focus and lowers stress levels as well.

Want to tackle the issue of time management? There are plenty of guides and articles online full of useful tips on how to better manage your time. Thanks to technology, you can find apps for scheduling and managing your day.

Get Team Members to Work Together

In software development, you have programmers, quality assurance testers, and process analysts. As a project manager, if your team is working from different locations, it can be overwhelming.

To improve information dissemination, team members should work in the same office. Here is why. Team members can share information about projects. This enhances out of the box solutions.

It also reduces errors, streamlines productivity and improves relations between team members.

Getting the Best from Your Software Development Team

To streamline productivity, have a plan, define workflows and set SMART goals. Active listening, and task delegation are also vital to the success of your project. To get the best results, make use of project management tools and Agile practices.

We hope this article has achieved its purpose, helping you master team management. Now, all you need to do is practice and put into effect the knowledge gained here.

Want more tips on managing your software development team? Check out our blog for more information.