How to successfully lead a Software Development Team?
What are doing the Software Development Leaders?
Recently, agile methods have drawn increasing attention from IS practitioners and researchers worldwide, as a response to the shortcomings of the traditional methods based on the “waterfall” life cycle model.
However, the impact of agile methods on project management is still not fully understood, beacause such a we need to analyze leadership styles when leading agile vs. traditional software development projects.
How to become a leader
Leadership within the software development can be a more difficult to achieve.
Leaders act as Coach and Counsel, not Judge
A team leader should to understand the problem and more importantly learn from the problem so it doesn’t happen again. You should see your role as helping the team overcome problems.
Yesterday is gone… let go of yesterday.
This is a reminder to not let the sins of the past control the future. Mistakes are only bad if they are not used as a tool for learning. Keep a consistent eye on the future.
Leaders Give Autonomy
In an agile environment should be allowed to be self directing and the manager helps guide them through to delivery.
Trust your teams judgement.
Making a team work together
It requires a keen understanding of people
You have employed them because they are experts in their area, but in the sam time with different personality types, from nit picky details people, creative innovators, completer finishers etc.
By having a good mix of people you can pretty much guarantee that any problem, task or issue will be tackled from multiple perspectives.
Delegation by understanding
Delegation is possible when the leader has a good understanding of each and every team member. In a development team, each member can have different interests; for instance, some can be good in front end tasks, while others prefer back end tasks. Based on the different abilities each person has, the task has to be assigned.
You may need to step into make decisions and priority calls, but this will be on the information provided by your team. If you get this right, you should have a good autonomous and self directed team.
Leaders Hire People They can Learn From
This one is for the Manager / Leader. As a person running a team it is great when you learn from your developers.
So the moral here is hire smart people who you can learn from. Don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than you.
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room
This is an important reminder for leaders.
One doesn’t need to answer all the questions or always have the best idea.
Empower others to make decisions and utilize the outstanding skills of each team member.
Leaders Develop People Through Education
Learning is a lifelong journey. I certainly appreciate feedbacks and comments should the reader find his time worth.
If you give your developers access to good training resources like Pluralsight and Safari Books and also run workshops, lunch and learns and Programming Dojo’s you will have a pretty motivated development team. Developers love learning new technology and development tricks. It is even better if they can learn and discuss it between themselves on a team.
The cost of getting your team Pluralsight and Safari Books is marginal compared to that of sending people on classroom based training courses.
Problems? Get it out of your head
Leaders must have the ability to guide teams through the problem solving process and come up with positive results.
The team needs just to have some guidelines to keep them on track. Develop a system to keep track of things. This system must be outside of the brain in a notepad or task list.
If left in the brain, one will spend either too much time or not enough on each task. The brain excels at tackling one item at a time.
If everything is important, then nothing is important.
Leaders usually have an overflowing plate of tasks and responsibilities. It’s important to have a narrowed focus, while inhibiting everything else. This applies to the team’s progress as well.
Rules don’t lead
Don’t attempt to build and enforce rules. Work with teams to devise standards that everyone will hold themselves too. Rules are meant to be broken; standards are meant be exceeded.