Make Your Professionals Feel Part Of Your Team - Administration
As a manager in charge of technical professionals, I have learned that managing projects with multiple team members requires certain people skills, as well as technical skills. In the world of management, there are many skills required when it comes to the management of people. These skills, and how you apply them, vary depending on the type of business you are in, as well as the type of people whom you manage.
The way I go about making my team members feel involved, is to engage them in conversations in regards to the project, and discuss with them what we are trying to do as part of the team. Even when I have a plan in mind on how best to achieve my project goals, I organize a meeting with my team and explain the purpose of the project. I then outline my plan to achieve our goals, and ask for input. Ive been working with my team for some time now, so they know from experience that I am open to all suggestions and comments. You would be surprised on how often, no matter how good your design is, that better ideas can and often are suggested by your team members.
I often have a follow-up meeting a few days later to finalize the design, since many ideas may occur after the fact. If you listen to design suggestions and have discussions among the whole group as to the pros and cons, you can make a decision at the group level on how to procede. Donít get me wrong, the decision is still yours. But technical people, by nature, are very logical. In general, as long as you consider everyone's ideas, most teams react well to management decisions. If you have to make a business decision that conflicts with what your team wants to do, they will accept it as long as it is truly a business decision. Although, if the decision is based on a personal preference by someone who they do not respect professionally, then they will never agree with it. That being said, if you are facing a decision that you know will affect a team negatively, it may be beneficial to pass that decision through a developer who has that team's respect.
If you can get your development team to agree with what you are trying to accomplish, you might be amazed to see them self-organized to achieve that outcome. Iíve come to find that they can and will decide among themselves how best to distribute the workload, based on who is best suited for the different tasks at hand. I find that it is important to decide with them on what is going to be accomplished and how it is going to be done. If you donít, you are going to need to find out exactly what it is what they are trying to accomplish; because regardless of what you want, thatís probably what they are going to do.