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There are ways to boost teamwork in software development. If you think about it, Software development is a team sport, and like in any group environment, there is always the potential for conflict and interpersonal issues. The best way to avoid these is to be aware of how your actions make others feel and make sure they don’t get in the way of your success.
If we’re going to be successful at creating great software, we need each other — everyone goes us has something valuable that adds value for everyone else on the team. Sometimes these skills are the things we value most highly in ourselves, but that doesn’t mean they’re the ones most valuable to others.
Tips to Boost Teamwork In Software Development
1) Include others from the team to contribute opinions when making decisions
When we make decisions without considering how they impact other team members, we end up with a product that’s lacking something that could be really great if it were there. Sometimes, we might miss out on important pointers that could have avoided a catastrophe or a regrettable decision in future,
There’s a story of a man who ran across a burning bridge, with his hair and clothes on fire. As he ran past his neighbour, the man asked his neighbour to save him by helping put out the fire. The neighbour looked at the man and said “that’s not my job”. When the man’s house burnt down, it burned down his neighbour’s house too.
2) Speak up when you think others need to hear what you have to say
Sometimes I wonder if people think it’s easier to remain silent than it is to speak up. Everyone has something valuable to add, even if it isn’t what’s most comfortable.
3) Understand that feelings are as important as facts — there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with your decision
We all have different ways of thinking about things, and that can make a difference in how we approach them. When we’re looking at potential problems, we’re often more interested in the facts than the feelings behind them (which is when we need to be paying attention).
4) Be ready to change your mind once you have new information — and make sure you’re open about it
One of the best ways to get others on board with new ideas is by being willing to take them on board. When we’re not open about a decision or idea that’s become unpopular, we run the risk of losing their support and respect. If we leave people in the dark, they’ll feel they can’t defend themselves against changing views that are held by others.
5) Respect other team members boundaries
When we don’t respect the norms of others, they’ll feel alienated and unhappy. Consider how you might put yourself in the shoes of someone who feels excluded, and try to see things from their perspective.
6) Be prepared to be changed by others — and open about it
Respect those who are unwilling to change the way they see things. Every piece of data filtered through our own experiences will inevitably have an effect on us. We’ll be more influenced by events we’ve experienced, and become resistant to new things that might potentially have an impact on us.
7) Know that you can’t control others
Even if they seem to disagree with you — work with them anyways, because the chances are that there’s something you can learn from them. Don’t just hear what you want to hear, but be open to new data from others, and listen to them even when it’s doesn’t agree with your current views.
When we’re not open to new ideas, our views on things become hardened over time and we can end up in a state of rigidity.
8) Take personal responsibility for your work
When we expect other people to do things that are beyond their capability or willingness, we leave them feeling frustrated and guilty. When I realize that things I did weren’t as good as I thought, I take it as a sign that my views are probably not good enough.
9) Don’t jump to conclusions — don’t use emotion as your guide when making decisions.
People who can control their feelings — and make their decisions based on facts and logic — are more likely to be successful as a leader.
Part of what makes software development fun is that we’re all in this together, and no one is going to achieve anything alone. Those who appreciate the importance of teamwork and cooperation will be happier working on a team than those who don’t.
What if you make bad decisions?
So how do we know when we’ve made a bad decision? Well, it’s different for everyone. Some of us are very good at recognizing when we’ve made a mistake, while others can hold onto something long after it’s become obvious that it isn’t working.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to spend more time thinking about your decisions. It takes us longer to recognize when we’ve made a mistake than it does to recognize when someone else has. So hang around and wait for the person who’s willing to change their mind, and make the decision for them.
A team that works well together and collaborates on decision making is going to be a much more successful group than one that does not. The impact of teams from other industries If a well-oiled software development team is so important and contributes so much to the final quality of a product.
Read this interesting article on how to work as a QA in a software environment.