Managing the development team
Efficient management of the development team is crucial for the implementation of the project and allows you to effectively solve most of the problems that arise in the process of creating software. A good team of programmers, who has high skills and competencies, is highly motivated, well-coordinated and efficient. This is the ideal that many employers dream of. In many cases, the skills and experience of developers alone are not enough to effectively implement the project and eliminate the emerging adversity. It is necessary to develop an appropriate method of team management, which often requires a person who will keep his hand on the pulse and spin all the elements of the project. This is where the action field for project manager appears.
Project Manager and team management
The role of the project manager is crucial in managing the development team. Everything depends on the management model of the company and on what responsibility is assigned to it. Sometimes it should support the team in technical aspects, on the other hand, it must also work in the psychological and even social sphere (the team is after all interpersonal relations).
Its activity is noticeable in all fields of project implementation. First of all, it is an invaluable role in the organizational field. Pm takes care of the proper flow of information, and also eliminates obstacles that developers can not cope with on their own. It seems that management also focuses on supporting the team, participating in the development of the project architecture and ensuring its consistency. The project manager should support team members in their development and advise them on various aspects of the project, including the implementation of various solutions.
Effective management cannot be achieved without the division of tasks within the team. Project manager at the same time take into account the competence of individual developers. It also has the final decision on implementation issues.
The key task of the project manager is to monitor the implementation of individual tasks in accordance with the previously agreed schedule. If there are delays, he must not only inform his superiors about them. He should also have the ability to renegotiate the timetable with him. Sometimes the project manager also has the opportunity to create a development team from scratch, to shape its spirit and attitudes.
When building a team, there is often a need to convey information about the purpose of the project, rather than how it will be implemented. It is also important to organise the workplace efficiently. Project manager is a good spirit that brings together all the elements of the project (individual actions of developers), monitors the decisions made and the work of employees.
Potential hidden in Scrum
Agile project management is an increasingly popular solution among IT companies. Worldwide, more than 80% of IT companies declare the use of agile. The most popular is scrum. Here, the responsibilities of project manager are divided between two people: product owner and Scrum Master. The former is responsible for business issues, for the formulation of the product vision and keeps an eye on the construction of the project in the right order, working with the developers and Scrum Master. The second, in turn, ensures that the team applies the scrum rules. He can be called a coach who supports the team and the product of the owner and removes obstacles that arise in the process of project implementation.
In Scrum, the development team actually organizes its work itself in so-called sprints, also called runs (each from 1 to 4 weeks). At the end of each of them, an hour-long sprint review is organized, during which the results of the work are presented. By assumption, each subsequent run should be better and benefit from the experience gained during the previous sprints. During the course planning, tasks with the highest priority are set, often the team learns from mistakes and must constantly improve the quality of its work. However, it turns out that this can be a very effective solution that increases employee engagement. There is also a daily 15-minute meeting (Daily Scrum), during which the previous day’s tasks, problems are discussed, and the next tasks are planned. The Scrum method is being implemented by more and more companies, e.g. Gemius.
Remote development team-how to manage it?
Remote workers and effective management of such a distributed team is a problem that is present in an increasing number of IT companies. On the one hand, doing work from anywhere in the world is an opportunity to find the best programmers and use their knowledge, but on the other hand, it is also a problem of managing them efficiently.
It would seem that managing a dispersed team is more difficult than employees who constantly remain under the watchful eye of the supervisor. However, it all depends on the organisation of the work, the degree of trust and the supporting tools used. The force of the matter here is that the contact must take place on a slightly different level. You can’t go up to an employee and have a few words with him. This does not mean that constant contact cannot be maintained.
Well, if you manage to set specific working hours for the whole team (the problem may be an employee from another time zone), then communication is much more efficient. Clear rules for cooperation should be in place, such as confirming the receipt of e-mails or reporting absences. It is also useful to develop a habit for employees to comment on any important decisions for the project so that it is possible to refer to them in substance. It is best to organize a short teleconference every morning, along the lines of Scrum meetings, during which current plans and tasks for the day will be discussed.
A company employing many remote developers should also use project management systems (e.g. Jira Atlassian) that effectively support work organization. It is necessary to carefully manage time and develop work processes. Of course, it is difficult to talk about managing a team of programmers without checking the quality of work and the quality of the code. You can’t forget that. This way of working sometimes requires even more project manager experience in project management than in the case of a stationary team. An example of a company that manages remote programmers is gogomedia Software house.
And what kind of management is used in your company?