Yesterday (that is, April 07, 2014) I took an active part in the 4Developers conference. By saying “active” I mean I not only attended some presentations, but also did my own one. It was entitled “Do You Need a Software Team Leader?” and was more or less related to my eBook.
Here you can see the presentation:
My eBook: “Memoirs of a Software Team Leader”
Read more »
If you speak Polish, you might be interested in this version: "Czy potrzebujesz lidera w zespole deweloperskim?"
- Trying to answer the question.
- What can a leader help with?
- The cons of hiring a leader.
- The second approach.
1. Trying to answer the question.
So, do you need a leader?
The most honest and concise answer is: I don’t know
Because I don’t know you.
A more detailed answer would be a bit fuzzy: It depends
- What do you work on?
- Who do you work with?
- What do you want to achieve?
Clues rather than answers.
2. What can a leader help with?
Leadership should stem from experience.
Experience is one of the ways of building authority.
Everyone should participate, but…
- Subjective distortion.
How good bad are the team members?
- Maturity, responsibility.
- It’s good to learn those.
- Some people need to be taught.
- Some can be shaped.
- Setting a good example.
- knowledge exchange;
Leader can reduce costs.
- Mediocre developer: x
- Good developer: 1.5x
- Team leader: 2x
6x + 2x < 6 * 1.5x 8x < 9x
Even if leader doesn’t do anything besides making the team work.
Team growth may be tempting, but:
- communication overhead;
- effective coordination.
Five good developers together = not necessarily a good idea:
- Quarrelling a lot.
- Each of them may be right.
Either democratic or effective.
- Developers are in demand these days.
Avoiding problems to come;
3. The cons of hiring a leader.
Trust or protection?
- Achieving maturity?
- Not what a Scrum Master should do!
- Building trust.
- Customer, other teams.
- A long-term process.
- “I don’t like it, but I believe you.”
A firm hand
- No room for discussion;
- here is the decision;
- it should take you this amount of time;
- lack of knowledge transfer.
- I’ve got the power.
- And a sieve.
- Seems interesting?I’ll take care of it.
- Here are the leftovers.
- I like you more, so…
- I have the power, remember?
- Not a robot, but:
- Correct: judging by skills, attitude, experience.
- Wrong: matters of personal concern.
It already works
- Self-organizing team.
- Why should anything be changed?
- Change for change’s sake might be a good idea, though.
- Room for improvement?
- Incompetent leader.
- Seems good, but…
- Knows how to pretend.
- Affects everyone around.
- At best, is being ignored.
4. The second approach.
Even more questions than before?
To some extent, I meant it.
Hire or designate?
- Seems more natural.
- It may be unfair, though.
- Sometimes it just can’t be fair.
- A new star is born.
- A sheriff?
- Not a head start.
- A challenge.