In this digital revolution, work and interaction harness virtual environments. Working remotely, for example, emerged as a possibility due to the software tools that enabled a virtual system through which everything became possible. So, work didn't stop.
We know that we are capable of managing just about any scenario, particularly in the software development arena. However, there is much more that's required for successful product development.
Apart from being available in any time zone and available online on Zoom and other flexible software, there is a lot more that ensures a successful development team.
In terms of business, profit is what every company wants. Often, profit is the aftereffect of a team's efficient work, effective strategy, collaboration, and combined effort. Meanwhile, all these aspects are influenced by the leadership's ability to manage a human workforce.
Promote those who do well;
Train those who aren't.
Salman Lakhani – CEO, Cubix
Thus, organizing your team's actions and regulating them is paramount to success, reflecting your capabilities as a manager. However, achieving productivity on an efficient scale, and even working with remote teams is a different game than the typical 9 to 5 schedule.
This post will highlight ten rules essential for ensuring a successful software development team.
Rule number 1: Prepare goals for short and long-term
You need to know the destination where you want to reach before driving. The phenomenon is the same when you work towards a goal. A specific direction along with a robust strategy is always required. Hence, the establishment of goals for both the long and short-term is critical as it aids in maintaining work checks and directing for later steps. Also, a broader view comes into existence in everyone's eye to see where they are heading with their actions.
Rule number 2: Enable transparency in your system
With regular in-house resources and perhaps remote employees working from different geographical locations, you could use the following tips.
Conferences on video calls when necessary:
Video calls are more engaging than just exchanging messages. That brings an understanding of culture, goal, mission, and objective in a more vivid manner.
Pass every piece of information and news to your team members timely. Besides, always open yourself to receive suggestions, ensure requirements are understood correctly, and be transparent in your process.
Rule number 3: Choose words wisely
A communication gap often occurs if a working schedule is not aligned and team members are located in different places. And several severe issues may arise if the team is not on one page. To bridge this distance, you have to put some effort.
One thing is focusing on the words you choose to speak. Create an environment where employees can easily reach out to you. For that, avoid complicated words and vocab usage. Your team may use Google to understand things, but why make them do so first?
Apart from that, communication tone matters a lot. Body postures, hand and face gestures, and even wink of an eye express things that words can't. But employees sitting miles away or even in different countries cannot embrace this advantage in their communication.
To bridge that, play smartly with your words. Focus on punctuation and vocabulary while drafting an email to be clear with your message. Emojis also support the cause to express your emotions to others.
Not to mention, think before you speak. Your exchange of words should depend on 4W's; i-e: Why, What, When, and Who. If you choose to include some employees remotely, there is less pressure to respond spontaneously, and you get time to prepare your correct answer.
In addition, it is an unmentioned truth that happy employees work harder and go the extra mile. Also, statistics reflect that 57% of the workforce like to work from their homes. Some studies conducted in the past reveal that organizations achieve more productivity with some degree of remote employees along with traditional onsite structure.
Rule number 4: Provide the right infrastructure
The right infrastructure is a predominant factor. A proper set of hardware with required software and programs can bring the best and expected working performance out of the people. For that, equip your team with all essential tools and motivate them enough to interact effectively with teammates and customers. Communication is the key in any business model. Most of the problems happen due to interaction missing, and all get solved only due to transparent communication.
No soldier enters step into a battlefield without training and weapons loaded as no one wants to taste the defeat. The scenario somehow relates to your team having the right tools to work with. Provide your team with reasonable machines to work on, high-speed internet devices, quality headsets, and HD webcams if necessary. It may sound costly in the initial run but necessary on the road to success.
Tracking project progress at each step is also critical. Choose solutions that meet your requirements and monitor the project's progress. That will significantly help in updating the workforce with present work status. For instance, JIRA is best to manage app developers' teams and create scrums. You can utilize more tools for project management and combine them to create your very own working ecosystem. Learn more about them here.
These will allow you to identify each employee and overall team performance towards the project. When you know your workforce's progress, you can more effectively schedule and plan upcoming tasks, becoming smart in resource and work management. Also, things will become transparent for everyone, and dependency to get an update on work from others will become less.
Rule number 5: Communicate rapidly and seamlessly
Check-ins on a daily basis are essential, but communication is supreme. And it becomes a paramount yet sensitive factor when assigning tasks to the team and predicting the desired outcome. At present, a typical physical workspace setup still faces collaboration challenge.
Communication is always the highest priority: goal and task accomplishment are based on team interaction and collaboration. People need to be on one page, which is only possible when they interact.
It's a base where you make decisions and pass judgment. Even the C-level representatives have to be responsive to all the employees to pass down the collaborative culture.
97% of business executives hold a lack of communication accountable for an ineffective project outcome and improper team alignment.
Keeping the interaction flow up and replying in the meantime has high significance in building an understandable and communicative environment with your entire team, avoiding miscommunication.
Keeping everyone in the loop in your emails also makes things transparent. Besides, use communication channels like Slack to create open channels where everyone can see what is happening and update themselves.
Rule number 6: Set feasible expectations
Setting expectations is essential but becomes paramount for any productive team. Everyone has a different pace of working and level of expertise in their domain. So, if you switch employee roles with new work, working speed and motivation will have the effect, ultimately changing results and performance. Therefore, in relation to the previous point, communicate well enough to set expectations clearly, and maintain alignment with constant feedback receiving. Also, shift their focus on things where their energy can get utilized in the best form.
Rule number 7: Outcomes are more important than the activity
For employee empowerment and maximizing engagement, it comes as the best course of action. After defining goals and expectations, allow employees to input their plan and strategies for achieving them. Micro-level management is challenging to implement, especially if you have some remote resources in the mix. Even in a physical environment, people don't like to be managed in that way; everyone seeks freedom and a chance to give their input.
Rule number 8: Focus on employee emotional well-being
This point purely addresses remote workers’ well-being because this form of working can make you feel isolated and experience anxiety. As an employer, considering employees' well-being on an emotional level is highly essential.
Maintain work schedule boundaries and set flexible times for deliverables. Allow them to be interactive apart from work and enjoy work while being at home.
Rule number 9: Respect diversity
People establish stereotypes while working in a multicultural work environment. It is a tempting problem. They see people belonging to a different race from their perspective and pass judgments, wanting them to live in their way.
So, instead of being judgmental, embrace cultural diversity and learn to respect it. Stereotypes may exist, but as well know that all fingers are not equal, so not everyone is the same. So, instead of carrying past and others' beliefs, decide and judge by yourself through character and observation.
What about your Team?
Your team efficiency relies on the skills and expertise your team members possess. And it is a team leader's responsibility to maintain outcome and workflow. You must be consistent in improving your people management skills and tactics and also with rewarding employees for excellent performance.
At Cubix, we make sure that our employees are comfortable with their work and emphasize collaboration to bring the best ideas and strategies to the table. Everyone here has the necessary equipment to unleash their skills and performance at work.