Refactoring is not just about code in the Software Development world. It's also about your team. When it comes to software development, the best developers are those who can communicate with the client. Refactoring is a disciplined technique for restructuring an existing body of code, altering its internal structure without changing its external behavior. Can you imagine doing that with your team of developers and engineers? Its amazing to watch a "heads down" developer become communicative with a client or prospect and here's why:
Most developers are not exposed to the initial customer questions or concerns and this is the reason they don’t lay out all the details for the project manager or customer – out of respect for their intelligence, and/or perhaps an expectation that the customer should understand what the development team may be designing. The bad news is that many non-technical customers may not have clarity within their own requests early on and over developed solutions tend to be delivered without the customers vision in mind.
Typically this causes the project management team and the customer to over analyze. Its what we call Analysis Paralysis - the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Do you want to avoid this? Its easy and the method is as transparent as it gets.
You can develop a developer by engaging with your team from the start.
Involve them with the requirements gathering and analysis. Ask questions of them and engage. The best approach is with your team. Having an offense without a defense does not win games. The team that plays together will win. Build it, nurture it, and support its growth by providing opportunities to grow. Make sure to incorporate feedback into daily tasks, stories, or eventually the bug fixes that may present themselves.
Next, provide them with a detailed set of functional requirements for each project. This should include design details, instruction, wire frames, and assumptions. Make sure to have meetings with them to discuss the questions they have. QA will appreciate this - TRUST ME!
Finally, make sure to get their sign off on the proposal for level of effort (LOE) and proposed milestones throughout the project timeline.
Your development team is now prepared to go into any conversation with a prospect or customer regarding integration, development, or design questions and we all know that scope creep most likely will peek in its ugly head as the customer begins to see their product vision come to life - so be prepared!
Work smarter, not harder. Involve your team. The customer relationship will flourish because you are all speaking the same language and ultimately you become "code complete".
As it is with any type of business, the best technology managers assist teams of skilled employees in finding their own solutions to both internal and external problems. Ask a software developer what they enjoy about their job, and the answer will probably include something about problem solving. Stepping back from your personal investment in a project and deferring key product decisions to your development staff can be difficult, but it is essential to growing and maintaining top tier software teams. The best project managers know that the fastest way to motivate a team towards results is to exhibit trust in them.
One key principle that you’ll see repeated throughout our organization is our emphasis on optimizing the whole value stream, rather than individual functions or teams. We try to create self-sufficient and self-organizing teams. Staffing is fluid. We manage your project through the entire engagement. Our Agile methodologies provide for lean product development, strategy, and decision-making. Force0six is responsible for driving the work through the process and on through completion. Starting with the earliest requirements discovery sessions and ending after the training has been completed, Force0six will fill the one role that should be consistent throughout. Our Project Managers work with both the development team and with business stakeholders to ensure that what is being built will match what the customer expects and that this development occurs within the expected time frame.