Teamwork in Software Development is vital as it creates a sense of unity among developers, offers different perspectives, improves proficiency and productivity, and promotes workplace synergy. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to improve teamwork among your developers based on our own experience as well as industry research which we have found to be true.
“The ability to simultaneously perform as an individual and in line with your employees is key to attaining growth and success. Steve Jobs changed the whole pattern of living with his innovative and creative mind. However, without his team of hard working professionals and their abilities to incorporate and accomplish his ideas may not have proven successful.”
1. Goals Should be Defined and Set by All Members of the Team
It is important for all members of the team to know exactly what they are working towards. Allowing the team to help set goals and get involved in planning encourages and motivates them to work towards the goal. Goals should be aligned with the vision the organisation wishes to achieve. Including the team at this level builds a real sense of ownership and accountability.
2. Roles and Responsibilities
It may seem obvious, but a common stumbling block is a lack of clarity around individual alignment to the team objective. Team members should be absolutely certain of their role in achieving the goal. In understanding their responsibilities beforehand, developers will know and be bought into what they are required to do and can be held accountable for their actions. If something hasn’t worked out as planned, one should feel confident enough to let the team know when they have gone off track or are behind. It is important to foster an environment of open communication so all members feel safe to raise issues and impediments.
3. Team Building Activities
Team-building activities can build a great organisational culture. Many developers are shy to speak up and team building activities can help them develop confidence. Teams are mutually and individually accountable for reaching the goal and supporting team members is important. They unite the team as well as develop strengths and address weaknesses, leading to a well-rounded group. Problem-solving and creative activities can build skills which can be used and applied to real-life situations. At Dev2 we tend to go for team thrills! We recently did the Big Rush Swing at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the world’s tallest swing. A lot of encouragement and support from the team was needed as nerves ran high as we climbed to the top of the arch and leapt off. These kinds of activities work really well to pull the team together and build a real sense of comradery.
At the end of every sprint or cycle at Dev2, we hold Retrospectives. These allocate time for our team to reflect. Team members are each given a chance to add their input on what practices and processes worked, what didn’t work and what we will do differently in the future. These types of meetings create transparency and trust among team members in an effort to discover risks early and to learn, adapt and improve our processes by empowering team members.
Effective teamwork can put your team a step ahead and help them reach goals and objectives much more efficiently. In our experience, a team that is confident, autonomous and diverse creates an unstoppable force that is able to overcome bigger challenges than any individual dreamed possible.