3 Simple Rules for Dev Teams
- Dec. 27, 2022
Starting a new development team is never easy, personalities always seem to clash and conflict happens at every stage. Add to that the pressures of building a product for a fast paced startup or enterprise organization with deadlines and things can go off the rails fast. We've found a few simple rules when starting a new product and team that helps us get through the storming periods faster and move into a rhythm fast.
First create a product charter for the team to follow. Any team needs a set specific guidelines and goals to help maintain focus and direction and while most of the key ideals will be the same between projects, each project will have it's own identity and goals that should be clearly stated. The most important goal for any project though, is to be considerate of everyone and their ideas and document that in a clear Code of Conduct. A charter and code of conduct for developers should focus on productive feedback in all areas, helping when asked and offering when needed, as well as a general mindset of looking for solutions not who to blame when problems arise.
The second rule is the right tool for the right job may not be the same for everyone. Yes if you hammer a every problem looks like a nail, but the reality is most of us have at least a functional multi-tool and we can use those to get most problems out of the way much faster then learning an entirely new tool, framework or language. Be patient and provide learning opportunities, but again deadlines are deadlines and getting a task done and working can often be more important then optimized and perfect. So hire good, smart developers, not someone who has X number of years of experience in a particular tool and make sure they fit your team.
The third rule is the simplest of all. Put your team together with diversity in mind. A diversity of backgrounds, skillsets and experience not only keeps the tasks evenly dispersed, especially with modular architectures, but as long as everyone has a chance to participate and communicate the ideas and creativity will flow as well. Balance between, experience and focus is important, but the most important thing for team dynamics and productivity is a balance between new and different approaches combined with tested and proven ideas.
With open communication and acceptance built into a team, progress will happen as long as you have a set of agreed upon guidelines for a team and clearly mark the milestones. Celebrate the milestones, help each other with the struggles and keep everyone focused on individual and team progress.