Effectively Managing Technical Teams

Technical Teams
Jun 26, 2019
Leading tech teams requires a specialized skillset and from practicing patience to leading in a transformational way, these days managers have moved towards a collaborative approach rather than the autocratic style. It is said that most of the tech engineers are introverts and don’t like to engage during meetings, as result communication gaps are usually augmented, creating silos and confusion for the whole team as well as for the project. However, managers should initiate one-to-one conversations, at most 30 minutes per week, with each team member to understand their goals, preference, and also their problems.

Here are some basic questions that every tech manager must have insights about:

How managing a technical team is different from managing any other type of team?

Technical teams require mutual understanding and better communication as the work they do is highly intellectual and requires more collaboration than most industries. In the tech industry, most of the teams are remote and virtual and have a diverse set of individuals working together to build a product for users they haven’t met in person. However, these sorts of teams require more communication and collaboration to get things done together. Also, productivity is measured differently as compared to other industries.

Which communication strategies work best with technical teams, especially when it comes to breaking down silos?

Teams that fail to coordinate effectively, waste time, and energy doing work that is not required because of a lack of understanding of what needs to be done. These team members also misunderstand each other and their personalities, often lead to conflict within the group and a lack of trust between group members. However, smaller teams, open communication, and collaboration with centralized tools facilitate, record, and recalls all the communication that happens around the work, allows team members to understand their roles and of others on the team. This gives room for understanding amongst each other for what needs to be done and how to achieve goals effectively.

Why do companies face the brain-drain challenge were good employees tend to jump ship too soon?

Usually, people leave their bosses and not their jobs. Bad organization policies and practices, incompetent bosses, toxic culture, and excessive work pressure can cause high employee turnover, which as a result costs a company excessively, in terms of hiring cost, training cost, etc.

Excessive workload and stress (for meeting deadlines) is also a major factor in an employee’s decision to leave the organization and find work elsewhere. The tech team usually wants peace of mind to code and manage the work without feeling overburdened.

How can managers ensure employee motivation and engagement in larger teams?

Clarify goals, increase autonomy and ownership, regular social gatherings, feedback meetings, active mentoring, showing gratitude, and encouraging collaboration are some of the ways through which tech employees are kept motivated and engaged in larger teams. Also providing specialized training, certifications, or other ample learning and growth opportunities will help them perform at their full potential in the larger teams.  

How to deal with failures and mistakes and some advice for dealing with a team that is prone to make frequent mistakes?

It is said that “Highly successful people are the ones who have failed the most.” But making frequent mistakes especially when it’s about code, makes the other team members annoyed also, on the other hand, the most important resource that is time is being wasted. People make mistakes but the problem comes with repeated mistakes as these are expensive and show that no learning was taken out of it the first time.  However, learning from your mistakes and failures should be highly encouraged. Effective communication is the key and using technology for your advantage can help you to overcome your frequent mistakes. Also failing forward by learning from our holdups and making the necessary adjustments until we succeed can create a successful outcome for you and your company.

Some advice for engineers who want to transition into team management

To help new technical managers through the transition from individual contributor to leader, they must adopt the following non-technical skills to form a strong foundation for effective technology leadership:

  • Improve your verbal and written communication skills.  
  • Learn about businesses, psychology, and solution building.  
  • Fully commit and take the changeover one step at a time.

If you want to learn more about this topic, do watch this excellent webinar by our CTO – Nouman Ullah Siddiqui, where he is sharing his insights about tech team management. Nouman has nearly two decades of experience in the tech industry and is a well-known expert in managing the tech team for Aciano Technologies and their clients worldwide. 

In the end, if you are looking to outsource your technical work or setup well-managed virtual teams, then do get in touch with us. We have been working with big businesses as well as SMEs to deliver sleek and user-friendly solutions that delight our users. Visit our portfolio here and for any other query, contact us at support@aciano.net

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