“Managing” Software Development – Stay in touch

This is the third in a series of posts about “Managing” Software Development.  If you missed the first two, you can find them here and here.

In my last post, I spoke about embracing Servant Leadership as an important first step.  Once you embrace Servant Leadership, you have to figure out how you can serve them.  I have only found two tools that, when combined, enable you to start serving your team.  Brace yourself!  This is the money shot.  As a leader, you have to really communicate with your teammates.  For me, the first tool that works is to get up off my kiester, go to where my teammates are, and talk to them.  I didn’t say text, or email, or IM.  Good old fashion talking.  Personal communication.  I try to get out at least every other day and provide an opportunity for collaboration.  Some communication won’t happen in this format.

The second tool that I use is regular one-on-one meetings.  With each teammate, I put a recurring meeting for 1/2 hour on the calendar.  Frequency depends on a lot of different factors, but should occur at least once a month.  The agenda for these meetings is up to my teammates.  The discussions in these meetings range from “How’d your weekend go?” to “I need help dealing with Bob.”  Some might suggest, I am just shooting the crap, killing time.  Guilty as charged.  This tool, however, gives your teammates another opportunity to communicate with you.  Some topics are better behind closed doors.  This tool provides that opportunity.

One of my former teammates once said “I am here for you the entire year.  All I ask is that you give me an hour of feedback once a year.”  That quote by Joey Cruz has stuck with me.  As a servant leader, you should be available to provide feedback throughout the year.  Having a recurring meeting with each teammate on the calendar ensures that you are putting yourself in another opportunity to communicate with your teammate.

I have found that, when bumpy times occur in the business, these meetings turn into valuable opportunities for bi-directional collaboration and feedback.

Thanks for coming in today.



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