9 Problems To Solve For An Effective Software Team

by Lauren Schneidewind on January 2, 2017

Every manager knows there is more to building a team than just hiring the right people. It’s a process. The goal is to turn them into a harmonized ‘orchestra’ that performs great together.

To create an effective software team, the manager needs to provide interesting and challenging projects. Also critical is organizing processes that help professionals thrive and do their best for the company. Sometimes, problems still occur.

The following problems and their solutions are derived from our extensive experience with successful software development projects.

Problem 1: Communication discrepancies.

Make sure to regularly communicate any administrative, business or technological changes related to the company and current projects. Most problems occur when staff is not kept in the loop. This requires ongoing effort, but the result is a confident and productive team.

Problem 2. Lack of trust and empowerment.

There is a proven connection between the mistrust and lack of empowerment from management’s side, with poor performance from the employee side. Allow team members to manage their own daily workload. Moreover, trust them to make technical decisions and, whenever necessary, adopt changes in working processes. In teams, where decisions are only made top-down, apathy is the result. If you hire the right people, trust them to do their job.

Problem 3: Quality is not seen as everyone’s responsibility.

Even the best testing department or specialist cannot take sole responsibility for the quality of the project. Sometimes, in software development companies with quality assurance employees, there is a sense of an imaginary safety net. As a result, the level of personal responsibility each employee assumes soon drops. This affects the quality of the product. The solution is to remind employees that quality is a team responsibility.

Problem 4. Insufficient or inappropriate tools.

Managers should ask their software teams what hardware and software tools they need to do their best work. Then provide the tools without delay. It’s not necessarily always going to be expensive, as some software tools are free. The cost is worth it to ensure the smoothest product outcome.

Problem 5: Inability to clearly define terminology.

It’s dangerous to have misunderstandings caused by differences in definitions of technical and business languages. Such situations often cause confusion and may slow down work. For good teamwork, it’s vital to define terminology before work starts. Then, update the list on a regular basis.

Problem 6: Authority and protocol issues.

If a team member feels reluctant to approach their manager to discuss problems, this may cause an avalanche of troubles in the long run. How can a company have an open-door policy that maintains authority? Managers can ensure team members that their opinion matters. Concerns will be treated with confidentiality and respect.

Problem 7: Unstable team structure.

Within stable company structures, team members have the time and opportunity to grow and develop, while contributing to the company’s success. This is achieved by defining each member’s role and responsibilities for the project. Also, describe the bonuses everyone will get when the project is completed successfully. Finally, generate a sense of urgency about the project, to motivate the team to be dedicated and hard working.

Problem 8: Words but no actions.

Achieving a smoothly collaborating software team requires time and effort. Implementing the processes and activities necessary for team effectiveness is important. Examples include providing time for regular meetings, including off-site employees in video conferencing, and having written guidelines and information. The key is to put all plans, procedures and measures into action.

Problem 9: Lack of collaboration among employees.

The basics of building a united team lay in facilitating communication and knowledge share among the specialists on the team. As well as across departments. Arranging a variety of social activities that help team members get to know each other outside the workplace, will provide incredible results.

Building a united and productive team is a critical step for success. To know how the team is doing, managers should receive regular feedback from team members. There are two avenues for feedback - formally, by using questionnaires and forms, or informally by simply talking to people.

Managers interested in having a cohesive team can find good examples of successful teams to model. Then, continue what they are doing right and apply other practices to solve problems or increase results. All efforts are worth it, since creating a quality software product requires a great team.

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We are LD Studios, an Atlanta based software consulting business. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us for your free consultation.

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