Large development teams pose several unique challenges to Information Technology executives. This is particularly true for IT groups experiencing rampant growth due to an organization’s recent success. Corporate growing pains, coupled with a rapidly expanding technical infrastructure, can often directly impact the IT team’s efficiency and overall productivity. As a result, many IT directors recognize the importance of strategic direction within the team to support group collaboration that drives workflow improvement across all levels.
Tips to Maintain Productivity and Success on a Large Development Team
If you’re managing a large or growing development team, creating a well-defined internal process can boost both business transformations and stakeholder engagement throughout your group. Here are four tips to keep everyone on your development team moving forward to hit corporate goals and deliverables within your organization.
Establish a Change Process
If you’re not doing so already, you must take the process of making changes to your code base very seriously, beginning with version control setup. Ensure that your team’s version control is set up in a way that will work best for your application. No matter what system you’re using, every developer on the team should be proficient in that version control to be able to quickly pinpoint changes as well as determine that the production environment versus the development environment were up to date.
Focus on Soft Skills
Coding talent isn’t the only thing required for success on large programming teams.
Communication between developers has to be solid, particularly for internal environments that are scaling up. Veteran developers who have been on the project longer should be able to effectively communicate goals, tasks, and objectives to newer members. Being able to discuss why code is written a certain way to others in the group can help save time, avoid errors, and relay the project’s code development standards for optimized consistency. Additionally, for newer staff members, being able to comfortably approach senior developers can prove essential, especially during mission-critical project phases.
Often large development teams work independently, creating unexpected silos where no one else in the group knows what others are doing. In an agile work environment, the daily scrum offers an ideal opportunity for everyone to connect with each other and discuss what’s being worked on that day. However, many IT leaders quickly realize that while everyone on the team shows up for the daily scrum – not everyone is completely present during the meeting. Laptops, phones, and other devices can quickly command attention away from what’s being discussed. Banning distractions from your team meetings can help ensure that everyone remains engaged and ready to contribute as needed to keep the project moving forward.
Having very well written and organized requirements for your new features is now more important than ever with large teams. Most big IT departments often have multiple people developing on the same application at the same time. Having someone log in and randomly make changes can create significant delivery disruption. Using a highly organized project manager can help eliminate the stress of overlap and redundancy within the project. A detail-oriented project manager can develop a schedule that helps everyone stay focused and on task through the completion of the initiative.