7 Steps for Energizing Your Software Development Team in 2013

As we say goodbye to 2012 and prepare to greet 2013, we need to think about what we want to accomplish in 2013. Specific goals and objectives will vary widely among companies, workgroups and individuals. I can’t help you with those.

What I hope to help you with is how you achieve those goals and objectives. If you’re still operating the same way you did in the 1990’s or even the 2000’s, you’re living in the past. It’s time to move on.

The world around us and more specifically, the markets we compete within, are changing faster than ever. Consider the following as food for thought.

[BTW: These ideas work best when implemented from the top of the management chain down to the lowest levels. Any other approach will not achieve optimal results.]

1. Define your vision, communicate it clearly and instill a sense of urgency for getting things done.

Every company must have a corporate vision. From it, each division, department, workgroup and individual must derive a progressively narrower and more focused vision. Honestly, I’ve rarely seen companies manage their vision like this, which is one reason we’re drowning in crapware.

2. Focus on your customer (or stakeholder).

Everything matters — revenue, profits, products, features, appearance, etc. — but nothing matters more than the customer (or stakeholder) you need to satisfy. Put your ego aside and focus on your target audience. You’ll be more successful and less stressed.

3. Develop an agile mindset — not simply an agile approach.

Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean, etc. won’t solve anything by themselves. Move beyond being flexible. Flexibility is reactive. Agility is proactive. Embrace change. Seek it out and make it happen. If you’re not changing, you’re dying.

4. Share everything. (Yes, really.)

Honesty and transparency build trusting relationships. There are too many corporate secrets. Most of it is legal gibberish. Stop labeling everything proprietary or confidential. It’s not.

5. Build relationships among business partners, workgroups and individuals.

Your success depends upon the people around you being successful. If they fail, you fail. Why is that simple concept missed much of the time? Success is 80% relationships and the other 20% doesn’t matter.

6. Empower everyone in every way.

Encourage everyone to make decisions, raise issues, offer ideas and just plain speak up. You may believe someone is shy or reserved when, in fact, you haven’t empowered that person to actively participate.

7. Establish accountability.

There’s only so much one person or team can do. We are dependent upon others to meet their commitments too. Everyone should have the tools they need to get their jobs done and the power to push ahead. Assuming they do, hold them accountable for delivering what they promise.

There you have it. Seven simple ideas that could transform you and your team.

Oh, and one more thing. Don’t pick and choose from the list. It’s all or nothing. You want to change, right?

photo credit: mdezemery via photopin cc

Updated: December 19, 2012 — 10:29 pm