Software Development Project: How to Improve Collaboration Within’ The Team?
Each team in your organization plays an important role in business functions and the growth of the company. Productivity will collapse if the collaboration between teammates fails. The same can be said for the software development team. Building a well-functioning team does not require your business to hire a team of superstar developers.
This article will provide some tips on how to make your teams collaborate in a more effective and seamless way. Let's dive in:
#1 Acquire the Right Tools for Collaboration
Imagine having some team members working in-house and some who are remote working. Without the right tools, your teams will find it more challenging to collaborate with others. And even when all team members are working in-house, it is much better to utilize proper tools to boost the collaboration process.
Slack, Google Workspaces, MS Team, Office 365, Trello, Asana, Nextcloud (or ownCloud), Dropbox, Git, and GitHub are some of the best tools that can be used to aid the process of team collaboration. There should be a collaboration tool available for communication, file sharing, code repositories, versioning, and even collaborative IDEs.
#2 Support Transparency and Open Communication
Developers can be more comfortable communicating and sharing their ideas and concerns if they are encouraged from the beginning. Thus, you should let your developers know that honest and open communication is what you want during the process of collaboration.
In addition, you need to let your developers understand that there are no such things called bad ideas and that constructive criticism can help them develop their abilities, reach the goals of the team and improve the collaboration process.
Do not let any overly negative or hurtful comments and feedback remain during the process of collaboration or else it will do more damage than you think.
#3 Establish Collaboration Guidelines
To boost the performance of your team, the first thing you need to do is create clear guidelines for team collaboration. Without any guidelines, things might get chaotic. As a result, it will be hard to achieve an efficient collaboration within the team.
To get rid of that chaos, there need to be very clear guidelines for collaboration. Some questions should be addressed, such as:
- Which collaboration tools will be used?
- How do software developers document their code and processes?
- Should there be specific channels with communication platforms within the team?
- Will all communications be logged?
- What roles will designated teams have and will each team have a leader responsible for communicating up the chain?
- Are there any types of information that can be shared outside of the team?
It is necessary to create the guidelines and have them available so that everyone in the team can read them at any time. Moreover, these guidelines should be updated frequently. The members ought to be informed immediately about any changes in these guidelines. Also, each team member needs to collectively agree on the guidelines and check the guidelines carefully so that they will be aware of what the guidelines are to follow.
#4 Create an Environment for Team-Work and Collaboration
No matter how much effort you put in to prompt your teams; there will not be an efficient collaboration if there is no conducive environment for collaboration. Not only does the environment allow teams to work together, but it also helps build teamwork, share responsibilities, and succeed together.
The initial step of creating a conducive environment for collaboration is to trust. Developers in the teams need to trust their teammates, as well as their ability to keep things running in a smooth way. Once this environment has been created, the collaboration can move to the next level.
#5 Having More Than One Channel of Communication
Besides the tools that were mentioned above, multiple means of communication should be made available to your teams. Your teams should be encouraged to use email, phone, video, and face-to-face communication while adopting Slack and similar platforms.
In order to take this step further, you can create and dedicate a meeting room to your teams. This room can be used for collaborative purposes only. You need to make sure that your teams can feel comfortable when using it. You do not need to meet every demand and decorate the room with furniture just to meet a specific need. However, let your team decide to create their own room so they can be more comfortable and creative as much as they can.
#6 Hold Regular Team Meetings
You should note that regular meetings can kill productivity. Not everyone enjoys attending meetings. But still, there should be monthly or bi-weekly collaborative meetings between your teams. Try to avoid making boring meetings about business. Make sure these meetings are interesting enough and only focused on ways to improve collaboration. Furthermore, only allow people who are tasked with the collaborative process to join these meetings.
#7 Encourage New Ideas & Innovation
As the leader, you need to encourage the creativity of your teams. Don't push your team members to get the work done because this will make them feel as though their creativity is restrained. Developers love to find creative solutions. Encourage them as much as possible. Once your teams can fully express themselves by letting their creativity out, the collaboration will grow exponentially.
In order to achieve a great performance, every member of the software development team needs to be capable of collaboration. If a team cannot function together, they fail. To keep the business running efficiently and growing, the company needs to encourage members of development teams to be able to collaborate with their team members.
It is not hard to encourage better collaboration within your company. Try to follow these above tips and you will see your teams' collaboration and productivity skyrocket.