In our second article on Agile Management Philosophy, we outlined three evaluation criteria:
With personal and client responsibilities mastered, you are now ready to manage a team of developers. This brings an entire new set of skills that you will learn over time. Let’s get to it!
The weekly agenda for this step is the following:
As a manager, it is now your responsibility to set the direction and goals for your team on a week-to-week basis. Some elements you need to cover include
Not only do you need to set direction, but it is also your responsibility to make sure that your developers feel comfortable with the direction and their tasks. We cover these skills in more depth in PSM1.
Reviewing Dev Output
You are responsible for the final code that gets pushed, which means you need to create a system to review code to ensure quality.
Identifying Struggling Developers & Help Them Grow
Most likely, you’re not going to be managing a team of all stars, which means you’ll have junior and inexperienced developers on your team. You’ll need to put up guardrails in order to identify and correct any potential issues before they become a serious problem.
This will be the most challenging part of your new role, but it is also the most rewarding. The best bosses, coaches, and mentors are able to take struggling talent and turn them into highly-productive team members. Here are some clues to lookout for that indicate developers are struggling:
Developer setbacks can occur for many reasons: the personal life of an employee is interfering with their performance or they fall into consecutive mistakes and they forget their strengths and get kinda lost. These cycles are tough to break. Identifying struggling developers is key to pulling them out of that cycle, to avoiding greater struggles, and it is one of the main reasons for the Emotional Intelligence training in our program.
Of the three EIQ sessions, this one is the most important. One of the hardest things for new managers to do is identify a difficult situation (poorly performing developer), address them in a respectable way (nobody likes confrontation), and provide direction and advice to correct behavior (change is hard). Here are some tips to work through these situations:
The final role playing scenarios will really put your soft skills to the test. These scenarios are designed to be uncomfortable to provide exposure to some of the conversations and events that will happen when you lead a team and are responsible with a client:
Now that you’ve successfully managed your time, deliverables, and your client, you are ready to take on a team. Congratulations!
Over the years, we’ve trained dozens of Admios developers through this process. We take great pride in our professional development paths and we have engineers that have gone on to lead teams and very successful projects for clients. With a plan and focus, you can create a robust professional development program to increase retention and turn engineers into managers on your team.
Here are links to all posts in this series: