Core management skills are a valuable tool for the growth of any software development team.
It is important to put in mind that the stronger a team, is the stronger a business will be. The underlying reality is that many tech companies struggle with the management of software development teams.
Quality assurance plus strict deadlines to release market worthy products raise the bar much higher for tech development teams. Great software management would entail organizing a team to deliver only the best product before a given deadline.
The crucial responsibility of a manager is to increase team efficiency and responsibility. A manager should exercise innovation, maturity, discipline and patience. Note that as a manager, you will be working with teams from diverse backgrounds, divergent work perspectives, cultural contexts and varying expertise.
It is therefore your role, as the team lead to achieve a balanced work environment that is aligned towards achievement of a specific goal.
To understand the context of an effective team, senior directors in different fortune 500 companies were called and asked to define the three single most features of an effective team. Below are the answers.
- A team with no communication barriers.
- A mutually supportive team that supports all members.
- A team that relies on flexible methodologies.
On the basis of the above three features of an effective team, we created a three steps guide to organizing a reliable software development team.
Understand the basics of an effective software development team
Understanding the fundamentals of an effective team is key to building great software development team work. Usually, an effective software development team is long term, multi-disciplinary, cross-functional and dedicated.
A team is also expected to work in a way that will eliminate communication barriers. This way each member can feel at home within the team. Additionally, the team should rely on changing methodologies in order to reap the best benefits from the product.
All projects should be approached in a simplistic manner that ensures agility and quality assurance.
Highlight Project Requirement
Most software development projects are complex. They often require an agile approach during the software development life cycle. Outlining project requirements helps you analyze the resources you have in relation to the project.
This analysis will help you understand your team better. As well as timelines for a project and budget. The outline will also help the team to have a defined direction. A clear and reasonable expectations and an action plan.
An outlined project requirement will allow you to easily manage the team to execute the plan.
Project Team Structure and Roles
Various roles and responsibilities are tied to each member of a team. Roles include the following;
- Project manager
- Functional manager
- Business Analyst
- Quality assurance manager
- Process analyst
- Test Engineer
- Subject matter expert
Ideally, it is important to group the developers’ team into tiers. These tiers are influenced by the skills set and assignment of multiple tasks to the various groups. The following list of three could make a good tier grouping; Data Tier, presentation tier and business tier.
Usually, the data tier will consist of developers experienced with SQL, databases, servers, Visual basic and stored procedures. The presentation tiers are experts in front end HTML, DHTML, XSL, Visual basic, ASP and java.
Apart from the team roles, the team leader should also structure the software development team in a way that ensures optimum efficiency. There are three basic structures that define one could choose from; Generalist, specialist and hybrid team structures.
Management skills don’t come easily. The most basic way of improving your managerial skills is modelling what has worked before with other team leaders. A successful software development team is crucial to any business, given the need for quality market worthy products that are released on deadline.