Archive for September, 2010


I want my team to be more proactive!

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Have you ever thought this about your remote software development team?  I want my team to be more involved, I want them to be proactive, I want them to come up with ideas, etc., etc.  Well there may be some ways that you are unknowingly setting a different tone for the team, (In reality, these issues can come up for both co-located teams and distributed teams; outsourced or in-house).  

Centralized decision making? Do you have a team that has been working with your application for a long time, they are very knowledgeable and can quickly make changes, fixes, etc., but have you centralized the technical decision making?  For example, are all decisions as to changes in the development environment, frameworks to use, database changes (including such things as adding tables, fields, etc.), porting to a new database, etc., etc.,  made centrally, i.e. at the headquarters without consulting at least some of the developers at the remote location (at least the lead one or two persons)? Certainly you can do it that way that is your right as a company to make those decisions wherever you want.  However if you do that, and continue to do it, you are showing several things to your remote team (or your in-house team if you do not include at least some of them in the decision), that you do not respect the knowledge that they have, that you do not value their opinions, and so on. If you do not include them in these kind of decisions how can you expect them to share with you their ideas or suggestions when you are showing them you do not value their opinion on some of the infrastructure decisions for your application?  They may try for a while to make suggestions, but if they continue to see this kind of centralized decision making, without input from others, their enthusiasm may soon die. 

Why you would want to include more members of your team in your decision making process, at least asking their opinion:  Take advantage of the knowledge they have gained, their day to day work with your system may be able to point out where another technical solution may be better, or where the solution you suggested may cause issues in the long run.  It can be done so that it does not add so much time to the decision making process.

So the next time you are wondering why your software development team is not as proactive as you would like them to be, or not providing you with their suggestions, think about how you work with the team when you have research and decisions to be made for your application.  If you make all decisions yourself, or with a small group of co-located people, next time think about including some additional opinions from other team members.  In the long run it will not only help with that particular decision, but will also help with future ideas for improvements to your system.

Categories: Outsourcing Offshore, Outsourcing SMB's, Outsourcing Ukraine, Project Management, Virtual Teams |