Empowering Developers to Make Better Decisions

Notes

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Give Them The Tools They Need To Succeed

Tools can make a big difference in being able to accomplish a task effectively and efficiently. Make sure your team has all of the tools they need to succeed, including notepads, pens, whiteboards, devices, and subscription services.

Make it a habit to ask your developers what do they need to succeed. Make sure there is an open dialogue that at any point in time; if they require some assistance, a service, a new IDE, or hardware updates that you can provide them with direction or a solution.

It's entirely possible that during the development cycle, they might become aware of the need for a tool to move the process along. An open dialogue can save time and money in the long run by decreasing frustration an increase in productivity.

I've worked with teams in the past that require many security checks before tools, packages, or code will be introduced into their internal environments. Rightfully so, it's their job to ensure the integrity of the business's internal systems and decrease the exposure to vulnerabilities.

As a lead or senior developer, follow up with those security teams and make sure that they understand that your developer's priorities are also your priorities. Often that will speed up the response cycle and let the security team know that this is a high priority item while simultaneously; letting your team know that you got their backs.

Stand by your word in empowering your developers by jumping on an email thread and reiterating that you are behind the push for a particular tool, technology, or service. You want to talk about boosting confidence! Having your lead stand behind you and say yes, I'm empowering you to make decisions and then jump on an email and say I stand behind you speaks volumes.
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Clear Them From Taking Immediate Action

 

Your team will often come across issues that will require immediate action, stopping for a feedback loop that requires other approvals from managers, designers, and producers Will slow down the process. It takes valuable time away from the project when you have to coordinate a series of minor approvals. Instead, empower your developers to take action on things that they deem that are immediate.

Doing so will allow them to take ownership of the project, task, or issue and to be able to see it through its' completion. In effect, building confidence within your developers and empowering them to make future decisions more decisively. Here are some benefits that you will start to see within your development team.

  1. Iterating over ideas faster and more efficiently
  2. Confidence when dealing with managers
  3. Making better decisions with less hesitation
  4. Task completion percentage increase
  5. Better communication skills

Two people jumping for a high five

Acknowledge Clutch Performance Privately and Publicly

When your team accomplishes an unbelievable task, or when one member just stepped out and had a clutch performance. Just scored that winning touchdown or that interception to win the championship big.

Personally acknowledge them and let them know how their contribution has made an impact on the team objectives or goals. We're all human; we want to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. Notably, when they are consistently a clutch performer. Team lunches, happy hours, and days off are a great way to build team morale.

Just as important as it is to talk to them privately, it's essential that you acknowledge them publicly, for some people, this could be embarrassing. Be respectful of their comfort level while ensuring they get the recognition they deserve. Good examples of acknowledgment strategies include

  1. During Stand-up meetings
  2. Weekly beer and wine socials
  3. Group Emails
  4. Team Lunches
  5. Company Dinners
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