Managing a software team is rarely a walk in the park, and it’s easy to commit a myriad of mistakes that could damage team morale, slow down their work, or even cause the project to fail.
Here are seven of the most common mistakes—and how to avoid them.
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Not investing in your own technical knowledge
One mistake IT managers often make is failing to keep their technical knowledge up-to-date.
Many believe their role is now more on the management side, so they leave all the technical nitty-gritty to someone else.
But as senior manager Elye found, this is flawed thinking:
I still tried to use the “old knowledge” to link to what was brought up and discussed. I started making a lot of assumptions and sometimes oversimplifying things rather than staying in reality. I could no longer understand the pain and challenges of developers. My inability to comprehend the complexity made me demanding, and I issued unreasonable expectations.
As you can see, technical and management skills go hand-in-hand.
You can’t manage a development team without understanding the nature of their work.
How would you help solve problems or pick the best course of action without software development knowledge?
And if you don’t keep up with the latest technologies, you might be adopting an old practice that would be detrimental to your team.
Indeed, a Wellingtone survey found that poorly trained project managers are the number one challenge most organizations face (and yes—that includes technical skills).
One important habit to get into is allowing room for failure.
When you delegate, there’s no guarantee that the work will be 100% what you expected. People make mistakes—it’s only human nature.
As a manager, your role is to create room to correct and maybe even learn from them.
Of course, this assumes that you’ve taken the time to hire a competent and professional team. If you want to learn more about this topic, read our article here.
Failing to give the development team enough context
Whenever you assign tasks to your team, providing context is important. Failure to do this is a big disservice to your project.
That’s because people work best and are more inspired when they know why they’re doing what they’re doing. It also gives them a sense of ownership of their work and prevents them from feeling like mere cogs in a machine.
In his book, Start With Why, author Simon Sinek explains this quite well with this diagram:
A seasoned software engineering executive, Marin’s role combines his in-depth understanding of software engineering processes (particularly mobile) with product and business strategies. Humbly boasting 20+ years of international experience at the forefront of telecoms, Marin knows how to create and deliver state of the art software products to businesses of all sizes. Plus, his skills as a lifelong basketball player mean he can lead a team to victory.
When he’s not hopping from meeting to meeting, you’ll find Marin listening to indie rock, or scouring the latest IT news.