How to Successfully Manage a Team of Developers: 5 Proven Strategies
Managing a software team professionally is not an easy task. You will need to not only achieve the fulfillment of the assigned tasks but also establish good relationships in the team and motivate your staff. There are many management strategies. Each of them is suitable for different software teams and performs certain tasks.
If you are interested in learning how to most effectively build relationships within a development team to achieve maximum results, this article is what you need. We will tell you about the main types of development teams and their key features. Moreover, you will learn the top 5 top strategies for managing a development team you haven’t yet heard about. This info will help you cooperate with your colleagues most efficiently. Keep on reading to get to know how to effectively manage a team of software developers.
What does managing a software development team mean?
Managing a software development team includes daily supervision of the programmers and checking out their involvement in the project. It is a process when a project manager runs the members of his/her team to cope with the task most efficiently.
A classic development team consists of various types of specialists. These are Back End Developers and Full Stack Developers, Web Developers and Software Developers, and many other professionals. As a rule, plenty of team members are involved in the project. Therefore, the project manager controls their work and facilitates communication between various departments to achieve a common goal.
To lead a team of programmers, a responsible person should be familiar with the key management strategies and approaches to cope with the work professionally. Moreover, a project manager should know how to manage a team of developers and keep an eye on the new trends and updates in this sphere.
Three Types of Development Teams
Leading a software development team of any type requires various approaches. There may be various numbers of people involved in the project, miscellaneous tasks that require constant supervision, or the necessity to deal with teams that work in various countries. Hence, the team management will be different in any separate case.
Almost a dozen of types of development teams exist. In this post, we are going to tell you about the three main types of them.
In this development team type, a project manager uses special management admin panels to control the whole process of teamwork. Such programs smooth the progress of cooperation between managers and teams significantly. In many cases, they don't even have to communicate in person. Everything happens within the admin panel. Such an approach allows project managers to lead the project easily and analyze the work progress in real time.
To manage a team of developers of this type, you should not be a professional in software development. Instead, you should be a management guru and be able to run developer teams of any size and qualification. As a manager, you need to set clear goals for project participants, answer their questions, and make sure everyone understands exactly their role in the project and the deadlines. In other words, for this type of development team, you should be the kind of manager who is always on call and can help solve any problem.
A project manager should be aware of how to manage a remote development team. This process is not the same as managing other types of teams. Many teams in one company may work in various countries. Hence, this type of management implies special skills. Managers should be able to focus on several teams` work at a time and be always ready to give feedback and establish good communication between different remote teams.
Moreover, for this type of development team, you should create a sense of a team because people don’t know or see each other. For example, you can hold regular video conferences or online meetups. As a result, your employees from different cities will get to know each other and be able to communicate directly.
5 Strategies for Effectively Managing a Team of Software Developers
Any project manager should be professional in team management. You should know how to inspire your team, as well as demonstrate effective leadership and have strong conflict resolution skills. When a project is managed effectively, the potential of each participant boosts.
Plenty of strategies for managing software development teams exist. We have selected the top 5 strategies that can help you effectively manage a remote development team and your local team in the office.
Set clear targets
When thinking about how to manage a team of developers, you should set clear goals first. There are short-term and long-term goals. Both of them are inevitable parts of the successful completion of any project. So you, as the project manager, need to make sure that your team clearly understands the project goals. You can set goals for a day, a week, or a month depending on the deadline for completing the project.
Project managers should attach specific timelines to each participant's role in the project and link them to weekly goals. It allows for tracking their performance, given the life cycle of the project. You should remember to bring into line your goal with the team's goals. Otherwise, your highly engaged teams may go in opposite directions and fail to complete the task on time. Project management experts recommend setting several smaller goals rather than one global one. This way, it will be easier for your teams to cope with the tasks and gradually complete the project.
Establish effective communication within the team
Communication is the cornerstone strategy to manage teams of developers. Project teams must comprehend the project goals, as well as understand the role of each project participant. Hence, project managers must regularly maintain employee engagement throughout the project lifecycle. The only way to accomplish this is to encourage communication within the team.
The most common ways of communication within the team are:
- Email communications between project members;
- Internal chats in the CRM system;
- Video conferences and online meetings;
- Personal communication between the team member and the project manager.
If you lead a team of remote developers, you must always be in touch with all team members. Developers are people with specific mindsets. You never know when they might have unusual questions. To cope with this, you need to choose a reliable and 24/7 communication channel.
Make all processes transparent
Project managers cannot always control the data exchange. However, it is very important to ensure that all processes and internal project data are transparent to all team members. Everyone must have free and instant access to any data he/she may need right now.
Transparency will help make the most of each participant's skill set, improve internal accountability, monitor progress, and achieve greater success together. As a result, both the project participants and your company will benefit.
Here's where you need to choose a quality online tool for project collaboration and data sharing. Such software will help organize virtual conversations, assign and discuss tasks, and involve everyone in discussions.
When you think about how to manage a remote team, you can use one of the best online collaboration tools:
- Time Doctor
Moreover, you can select an efficient way to track employee performance and always be aware of your work progress.
Encourage group discussions and conduct brainstorming sessions
Statistics show that the best ideas come from discussions and brainstorming sessions. It stimulates ingenuity and creates unique approaches.
A great idea can come from any team member. For example, in the Agile philosophy, a crucial role is given to creating a culture of respect in which everyone involved can participate.
In this case, the project manager must consider all ideas proposed by participants. Even if an idea is not clear at the moment, it is important to encourage your team members to continue to actively contribute their ideas to the project plan. Such a way to manage a software development team will help your company create a unique, high-quality, and competitive product.
Manage internal conflicts
Any development team consists of individuals with positive qualities and shortcomings. Therefore, where there are individuals, there will always be room for conflict.
The project manager should be able to eliminate internal conflict in time and effectively resolve the situation without taking sides or losing objectivity. If necessary, it is better to pause and think things over before reacting negatively to certain actions of a team member.
How to successfully manage a team of developers and resolve conflicts? If the conflict is related to a professional issue, you need to remind everyone of the common goal. Professionals always have different perspectives on solving the same problem. Therefore, you should try to find a solution that suits everyone. If it is a personal conflict, try to encourage the employees involved to settle the problem as amicably as possible.
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Now, you know everything you need about the main types of development teams and how to manage them effectively. The success of any project depends on it. The project manager role involves thinking less about your needs and more about the needs of your team. We hope that the team management strategies listed above will help you effectively communicate with a team of developers.
Sometimes, you and your team have difficulties finding a single approach to completing a task. In this case, you can use the services of a third party. For example, a well-known global technology partner, Intellias, deals with the design and development of all types of digital platforms. So, you can order its services in case you fail to find the right solution by yourself.
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