7 Key Ways to Improve Productivity and Your Relationship With a Developer
Congratulations, you finally made your new hire, or another hire (whatever the case may be!). Now what?
The success of any company lies in a strong relationship with its stakeholders, both internal and external. This goes the same whenever you employ new people. People from different business units may have various (unique) personalities.
If we talk about developers, in any typical organizations, Developers have their “own world” and are often being placed in a separate compartment. We see them differently and vice-a-versa. But how do we avoid having that “wall” and start getting along with them?
To improve your relationship with your developers and set yourself (and them as well) for success, we have outlined the following tips and things that needed to be done (don’t skip, they go hand-in-hand):
- Include Your Developer in the Planning Stage. In any projects that you have or about to begin, it is critical to include your developer in the planning stage. Starting a project without planning it carefully with the people that should be involved in it, will only result to a lot of questions and misunderstandings about the steps or processes needed to fulfill it. However, having your developers present in the initial stage and allowing them to collaborate will result in a more productive conversation and will make them feel that they are vital and that business owners care about what they think.
- Outline Clear Goals and Set Expectations. Not because you include them in your planning means they are clear about their deliverables. Developers are not minded readers and business owners should also not make any assumptions that everything is crystal clear. Ensure everyone understands the scope of the project, the objectives, the tasks, and the deadline.
- Do (frequent) Demos. Check your calendar and include at least a weekly sprint with your developers. Let them do a demo of their task and give feedback to guide them in the right direction. If you have a new developer in the team, get demos even more frequently until you are comfortable with their work. Understand the fact that we have different interpretations on different things, and doing this will help you and your developer be on the same page. Make it a weekly habit, set a standard day/time and stick to it.
- Ensure That Every Task is Demonstrable Through a User Interface. Most non-technical people who work with developers sometimes tend to get anxious because they do not understand the things being done in the technical tasks. As a Project Leader or a business owner, you can avoid this by ensuring that the tasks you give your developers can be easily demonstrated through a user interface (or an app). This should help you understand better and control the tasks as well as giving a more efficient evaluation of their work.
- Learn their Language. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a course or getting a degree to be at par with your developers (they are there for a reason). Developers can be relaxed and comfortable talking to someone and explaining things better when they feel that they are communicating with people who can understand their language (don’t pretend that you do even if you don’t). There are a lot of available resources now that you can use as a reference, invest some time to learn at least some of the basics.
- Prioritize. Lay down the tasks and make sure to identify the immediate priorities before handing them over to your developers, one (and only) at a time. Work with them to get a feel on how long each task should take and figure out what task to give in the next week or so. Accept the fact that there might be some tasks that take longer than you expect. (Note: Do not give multiple tasks at the same time, let them finish one task first before you give the next task)
- Communicate Effectively. Achieving effective communication allows everyone to have a very smooth execution stage. Effective communication doesn’t mean exactly bugging them from time to time and asking for updates and progress. Let your developers do their job. Communicate early and communicate again later on.
The above are just some of the few tips but perhaps the most important to apply. These will help everyone involved and be able to do their respective assignments efficiently. As a business owner or a stakeholder, talk to your developers and collaborate. Do not just hand out the projects to them. Remember, the success of a project or a company depends on a good relationship with each other. You are all in this together.