Developing the team is one of your biggest priorities. Through coaching, cross-training, and other techniques, team members will improve their technical skills, soft skills, and overall well-being.
- So, I admit to having a fairly strong egalitarian streak. Because of that, I believe that the well-being of the team is arguably the most important job managers have. Yes, the work needs to get done, but having a healthy team is going to make that a lot easier. Ongoing development for the team should always be a priority. There's even a strong business reason for this. First of all, it's a very good idea to have members of the team cross-train so that they can backfill each other's tasks during vacations or in case of heavy workloads.
It's pretty obvious that the more people who can accomplish a specific task, the less chance there'll be of it not getting done. And it's not just today's tasks either. Technology changes constantly, right? There are always new things coming, and getting team members ready ahead of time will positively affect their ability to hit the ground running. By the way, I'm not only talking about tech skills here. I also think that there should be an emphasis on helping tech people develop non-technical soft skills.
Things like effective communication or presentation skills can really make a difference when your team members need to show their work off to others. And what about stuff like requirements gathering, project scoping, organizational readiness analysis, and other project related tasks? The more people on the team who are confident and experienced in this type of work, the less you will be surprised as you work through a project. And if the project managers have people on their team who already understand the principles of project management, the entire process will become much, much easier.
Luckily, there are very good courses on a wide variety of subjects available in the online library, everything from network engineer certification to confident public speaking. My recommendation? Make sure your team members know what's out there and actively encourage them to use it. Develop individual learning plans with them based on their interests and the needs of the team. And don't forget, some of them may want to move in the direction of a manager track.
Encourage that when possible, too. Many of us have been trapped in jobs for too long because there was no one able to replace us. If you don't want that happening to you, now is the time to start developing your succession plan.
- Identifying your role on a technical team
- Communicating with technical people
- Getting past uncertainty to succeed in your role
- Understanding the manager's role on a technical team
- Enforcing business processes
- Developing your team members
- Leading a technical team
- Supporting flexible working habits