Managing a dedicated software development team is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. You rid yourself of the blues and spend hours with one goal in mind i.e. to fix the puzzle. You first look for the most suitable place to assemble it, check for better lighting, frame it in your mind, keep working on it, and don’t give up. The struggle is similar when it comes to handling a team of individuals because you’re managing a group in which one person is distinct from the other. You want all of them to live upon the company’s criteria and if you succeed in doing so, you can count it as professional achievement.
As Software Engineers, it is important to keep pace with the current trends that follow in the market. But there comes a time when your developers somewhat start feeling completely incompetent. What should a leader do in this case? Some managers start to give themselves the mental ‘you got this task’ because ‘you got extensive experience in the field, won awards, and got raises, etc.’ Spare yourself this speech. You gotta work smarter than harder like our peeps at vteams did. They got rid of such issues like they were some wizards who knew magic.
vteams Has Discovered a New Way of Supporting Clients
We had a brief discussion with Shahroon, the Deputy General Manager at vteams about how he was able to master the challenging demands of his dedicated software development team and client.
Here’s what he has to tell us:
Haider: So Shahroon, what is the problem that you faced?
Shahroon: I along with my team are working on an application that was developed on Sencha Touch Technology before we migrated it to new tech. The client that we work for provides website development services.
Sencha is old tech and much outdated which is why the app had quite a few tricky issues that needed our attention. We planned on migrating it to hybrid technology, but the client turned down this idea due to a shortage of time and money to invest. We spent a great deal of time convincing him but faced multiple rejections.
This was not the only problem that I faced, there is another one that sort of put me into hot waters.
It is challenging to avoid being monotonous, especially in the case of longer projects. Developers, even if they love what they are doing, still get bored after a while and demand other challenging projects. I faced the same issue while handling this application.
We have been working for this client for a long time and one of my Senior resources has been in constant communication with him. But I could sense that he was getting tired of working on the same project and doing similar tasks over and over again. I had to do something about it because I am responsible for his learning. On the other hand, I did not want to disturb the client by assigning him a new resource because he was quite comfortable with him. So, I came up with a solution that helped both my resource and client.
Haider: What did you do to better manage your resource and client?
Shahroon: Well, I didn’t do anything new. I just played smartly. Hot Swapping is an old but rarely used technique that implies the replacement or addition of a resource without disrupting the project execution. However, I just refreshed the concept once again with a whole new perspective.
I hired a junior resource and asked him to design a standalone replica of the app but with a better front-end. This way the newer resource learned and honed his skills on a more advanced project and the senior resource who was already handling it got assigned a new project where his engagement levels also amplified.
Haider: How did it help your client?
Shahroon: As I told earlier, my dedicated software development team did many efforts to make the client understand that shifting to hybrid technology could solve all his problems. But he believed that migrating to new tech would require much time so he didn’t want to risk it. So, getting the replica ready secretly was the only option we were left with.
Once it was built and tested from our end, then we told him about this secret mission and asked him to test it for himself. He was shocked at how we appointed a new resource just for his sake and got utterly impressed by the devotion and heavy labor my team had put into his project.
Haider: Wow, then, what happened next?
Shahroon: He very much liked it and decided to move further with the hybrid application.
Haider: Great! So will you use this technique for your future projects?
Shahroon: Well, I don’t really call it a technique. It doesn’t matter if I use it or not but my goal has always been and will be increased customer satisfaction. If my client is happy then whatever the method is, I would use it with joy. It just has to get the job done for him.
Haider: Would you like to give a piece of advice to people struggling with a similar issue?
Shahroon: You can never underestimate the importance of client satisfaction. Hot Swapping turned out to be the best way for us to secure one loyal customer as well as give a new learning curve to the resources. So everyone should treat customer satisfaction as an essential business factor and work on improving it. Moreover, they should give their resources some time to learn new skills or to improve existing ones.
Hot Swapping is no rocket science, it’s just I could not ignore the fact that my client’s app was failing day by day. And my resource was having a hard time executing it. When we had a solution handy, we had to implement it. Convincing him was vital for his good.
Haider: I appreciate that!