You have already got acquainted with the aspects of first and foremost importance related to forming a successful development team. Let’s proceed with our journey and dwell upon the matter of adequate maintenance of the enhancement team on a certain level. Which characteristics and skills should remain firm with the flow of time?
Development team traits. Starter pack
1. Flexible problem solvers. There would always be situations, when your development team might need to restart the project from an initial point or change the direction of the project process. The advantage of a successful development team lies in ability to adjust to the turbulent circumstances and react quickly when potential struggles are looming on the horizon. This results in saving valuable time and preventing bigger, more disastrous issues in the future.
2. People ideas criticism. Human beings are imperfect, that’s why it’s quite normal to have different points of view concerning specific project guidelines and sometimes even fail to compromise with each other. In such situations, a team of sensible developers will never come down hard on people who came up with a wrong solution. They will criticize the idea itself. Such approach in handling arguments is tightly related to the basics of EQ (Emotional Intelligence).
3. A culture of accountability. Fruitful project colleagues realise the essence of their cooperative work and are responsible enough not to outdo each other for the sake of promoting their own careers. Sensible developers can give satisfactory results due to their accountability. That is, they omit the spreading of poisonous roots of lower estimations, wrong assumptions or inane risk taking.
4. A power of delegation. Sometimes you might think that nobody could do this particular task better than you do. In fact, you end up burning the midnight oil while accomplishing a huge bunch of work, that isn’t supposed to be done by only you. Light at the end of the tunnel comes when you start applying delegation skills. What you need to do is basically to set and distribute goals/guidelines and check whether your team can do their pieces of work. Once you delegate authority and provide team members with individual tasks, you can finally take the unnecessary load off your shoulders.
5. Psychological syncing. Finding fitting skill sets within different layers of software development human resources is just the tip of the iceberg. The crucial point is to match not only people’s talents and skills, but also their mindsets and psychological whims. Only in that case a whole team can sync on every level and productively work on the common project.
6. Tracking progress. When people are completely engaged in the working procedure and enjoy it wholeheartedly, they can either be swept along or distracted from the leading project task. In order to avoid such extremes, you have to keep an eye on progress constantly and confirm that the project stays on the right path. As a variant, you may arrange regular intermediary meetings and discuss the project’s status or the completion of certain project stages. In such a way, you’ll come to a conclusion either you’ve assigned roles throughout the team right or you should make some more corrections.
So, you’re done dealing with workflow structuring, monitoring, organizing and delegating tasks. Now, you may upgrade your knowledge related to forming a successful development team by immersing yourself into Agile Methodology.
What is Agile Approach and How it Works?
Fortunately or not, we live in a rapidly changing world. Hence, the old methods of software development such as the “waterfall” approach are confidently playing out. From now on, you shouldn’t focus on following the initial plan or an old-fashioned algorithm “plan, design, build, test, deliver”. But you can open up to innovations and master an Agile methodology instead.
Thanks to this approach you constantly evolve in interactional and collaborative modes and thus become more prone to changeable situations. Furthermore, it boosts your team’s flexibility and adaptation skills. Keeping in mind the preference to trust humans instead of the process itself, Agile methodology supplies the development staff with fast and reasonable solutions.
Core features of Agile Methodology
- Speed. By eliminating the traditional phases of the software development process, Agile methodology succeeds in creating the final product or service just in a couple of months. As you know, the faster you work, the more projects you can tackle on in the future.
- Communication. Since agile teams work together on a specific project, they naturally see each other almost every day and primarily person-to-person. Thanks to daily interaction, developers can trace even the slightest changes in project’s growing and rapidly come up with a new solution altogether.
- Trust. Taking into consideration this trait of Agile teams, they do not depend on a settled list of requirements or hope blindly on manager’s guidance. In contrast, they are more autonomous and are capable of creating their own path to reaching desired results.
There are numerous agile implementations, suitable for various types of projects and outcomes. Each pattern focuses on visualization, so the working process is usually displayed on board, which makes the whole project picture more transparent. You may choose an agile application depending on your purpose, end product and team members working habits.
For instance, let’s discuss a little bit the most popular agile frameworks: Scrum and XP. The first one is characterized by well-planned sprints, which are reviewed and adapted along the way. Starting with a product backlog which looks like a prioritized wish list, you divide it into smaller pieces called sprint backlog tasks. A sprint itself is a 2-4 week period of time, in which team members complete their sprint backlog tasks. To supervise the project’s progress, developers organize special meetings called daily scrum. If you follow the Scrum methodology, the structure of your software development team will also include Scrum master, who keeps the team focused on the goal.
As for eXtreme Programming, this framework is often used with scrum. XP is a great example of how Agile approach can be applied to enlarge clients’ delight and cater to their needs in a more efficient way. eXtreme Programming like Scrum puts an emphasis on speed delivery of products. For this reason, the development team concentrates on current requests and tendencies, lives in the moment and gives what clients need right here and now. XP structure consists of short development cycles, frequent communication with customers and fast releases consequently. Among the eXtreme Programming tools you can find code reviews, pair programming & negotiation, iteration planning and unit tests.
No matter what agile framework you choose, it will definitely help your team to work more productively and efficiently.
Powerful 7T team model!
To conclude all the useful information you’ve got throughout reading this article, let’s finish up with discussion of the most effective team model, called “7T”. This model suggests that for a team’s high performance, there are seven important factors:
Thrust: Keeping attention on the essence, which is a common desire for what should be done by any team to reach their goal.
Trust: Mutual understanding, strong rapport and compromising are foundation stones of a successful team.
Talent: Suitable set of skills within the team members.
Team Skills: Not only individual talents are taken into account, but also the ability to effectively and productively act as a united mechanism.
Task Skills: The successful task implementation assigned to the software development team.
Team Leader Fit: The level to which a team leader understands the needs of his team members and meets them.
Team Support: Providing a shoulder to lean on during some problematic situations and psychological fitness of the team.
Setting up a successful development team may look at first like quite a scary task to deal with. Hopefully, you’ve got essential guidelines to follow in the nearest future. Henceforward, you have high chances to turn up trumps and build a strong and, most importantly, successful software development team!