Managing engineers is surprisingly not dissimilar to managing people in other workforces, but there still are some nuances every manager should know. Whether you’ve been struggling to keep your engineers productive or you just want to avoid any problems in the future, these are the things you should know.
Follow Proper Metrics
Every team should have a dedicated set of KPIs specific to their goals to track. Following these metrics can help you better understand where your software engineering team is and can help you identify areas that need improvement. If you follow the wrong metrics, however, you can waste precious time analysing data that is unimportant to your project.
Software engineers are constantly improving their skills so they can create new bigger and better things. Encourage that! Don’t force them into a box doing the same tasks day-in and day-out. Instead, recognise that desire for growth, and you’ll see it in the results.
You can never know if there’s a problem if your engineers aren’t willing or ready to tell you. You should foster a culture of communication where nobody is too nervous to give their opinion or tell the truth. With everyone in the loop, communicating problems and needs, you can get them what they need to be more efficient and happier with their work.
Every worker wants to know that their manager trusts and has faith in them. If you feel like your manager is doubting your skills at every turn, would that incentives you to do more and better work? No! Encourage your engineers and help them overcome obstacles. Create a culture of inspiration and they’ll be more comfortable trying new things.
Quality Over Quantity
You might think that it’s better to finish multiple projects sooner rather than one later, but this can put undue pressure on the engineering team and poor results. You might think that the answer is to throw more people onto a project, but this can lead to confusion. Instead, assign tasks to individual members and focus on the quality of the work first and foremost.
Use the Latest and Greatest
Working with old or broken code and/or software is an annoyance and can hinder an engineer’s job. They need the right tools for the job and with the latest and greatest, they’ll feel inspired in their role and it shows that you are willing to go above and beyond to make them happy.
Focus on Training
Following the previous point, you need to ensure that you aren’t adding unnecessary complexity to your engineer’s role with the new technology you’re supplying them with. Make sure to keep them up to speed and train them on the technology so they can jump in as soon as possible.
Do the Small Work
Engineers are there because they love to code and create new, innovative ideas. Why bog them down with endless paperwork and non-technical meetings? If you want a happier, more productive, and more efficient team of engineers, do the small, unimportant tasks for them so they can focus on their dedicated role on the team.
If you can keep the engineering team happy, you can keep your stakeholders and superiors happy as well. There really isn’t one magic way to improve the production of your team, but when you start with making them happy, others will follow.