Productivity is a measure of how efficiently and cost-effectively some output is produced with given inputs. In the world of software development, many factors ultimately determine the productivity of a team.
Was the promised product delivered? Did the project stay on or under budget? Were all deadlines met? Is everyone satisfied with the end result?
There’s no doubt building and maintaining productive teams takes work. In the long run, though, it leads to better-quality deliverables, higher levels of customer and employee satisfaction, and less team burnout. Read on to learn five ways you can boost your software team’s productivity.
Define Goals and Expectations Clearly
Setting clear goals is one of the most important parts of beginning any new project. A team can hardly be productive if it boldly marches off in the wrong direction.
Goals both inform your team of the final objective and define milestones along the way that propel momentum forward. Large goals can be broken down into smaller tasks that can be easily assigned to specific team members.
It is essential in software project management to clearly understand the product vision to create the best possible plan to fulfill your customer’s needs.
While it is easy for teams to concern themselves only with the particular parts of the software they are building out, this can lead to tunnel vision. Making sure to connect tasks with the overall product will ensure a stronger commitment to the customer’s vision.
Be intentional about communicating the “whys” behind goals and requirements. Explain the reasons behind functions and how these connect to the product’s overall value. Doing so will keep your team focused on the customer’s needs and how to deliver on them.
Be Impeccably Organized
Once you know where you are going, a software project management tool can provide you and your team with a solid road map.
This will enable you to arrive on time with the correct deliverables in tow. By keeping track of both individual tasks and team goals, the tool will also help you manage workflows and facilitate collaboration.
The right project management software should be easy to use for both developers and non-developers alike. It should allow for real-time feedback and communication and integrate with any other tools being used by your team.
This tool can be a hub for storing and sharing all necessary information, which can prevent productivity-sapping bottlenecks and decrease errors from misunderstandings. Most project management tools also provide options for reporting and analytics, which can be used to track your project’s critical metrics.
Develop Your Developers
The field of software development is growing and changing at breakneck speeds. It is vital to keep your team’s skills up to date to stay competitive in a dynamic market.
Encouraging continued education and training and providing the needed resources will ensure your team stays on the cutting edge. Prioritize self-directed learning, which will give team members maximum autonomy while providing continued motivation to grow along with the industry.
Professional development adds important skills and knowledge to your team and makes its members feel more valued. While industry certifications and continuing education may come with certain costs upfront, investing resources into employees will often pay dividends.
Learning opportunities will not only expose your team to the newest ideas and tools available, but also keep them excited about their work. And that passion will fuel productivity.
Connect in the Right Ways
There is little more frustrating to developers than being kept from their code. It is easy for schedules to get bogged down with meetings in an attempt to keep communication lines open and strong.
Real-time feedback can keep projects on track and prevent errors, true. But it can keep developers from having enough focused time to produce their best work.
Before putting another meeting on your team members’ calendars, ask yourself, “Does this really need to be a meeting?” Quick morning huddles (15 minutes maximum) will allow teams to stay in sync while still keeping disruptions to a minimum.
Couple short, agenda-focused meetings with the use of communication platforms like Teams, Discord, or Slack. These let team members respond to questions and team updates at their convenience, without interrupting their flow.
Do the Dirty Work
The concept of servant leadership is not new, but its principle of empowering people from below will set your team up for success. Sometimes the most important thing a manager can do to is just enable others to more easily perform their job functions.
Make it your mission to eliminate roadblocks that bring productivity to a halt. Remove unimportant or redundant tasks from your team members’ to-do lists, using automation where possible.
Engage in active listening to catch and potentially sidestep possible problems. When your team trusts that you are taking care of irksome yet necessary administrative duties, they can focus more fully on their individual roles.
Maximizing the productivity of software teams is a high priority for any business that has them. Finding what works best for your team may require some trial and error as well as conversations with your team members.
Setting clear goals, staying organized, and supporting your developers are simple ways to help you to get the most out of your team. By adopting these suggestions, you are bound to see measurable improvements in your team’s effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.