Improve Collaboration Between Tech Team Members
Many organizations today find it increasingly challenging to raise or maintain team collaboration across the workplace. And yes, team collaboration is the cornerstone of any successful business. While working in the IT industry, let say software development. It’s easy to see that members of each department do not work well together since they’re focused in different areas but all work hard and share the common goal of producing a bug-free product.
So, this is where things should start. What is critical for success?
It’s “Communication”. Collaboration requires Communication.
Good communication is an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels. In order to achieve a bug-free program, we need to establish a strong connection between each member and get everyone on the same page. By recognizing this need and implementing to facilitate communication, teams can achieve a higher speed, better quality, and increased ROI.
But as a fact, running a collaborative team environment has never been a simple feat. It takes a concerted effort to integrate co-operative values throughout the whole team’s ethos. Here might be some strategies that could be applied to your team.
1. Communicate your expectation for collaboration
Each role in a team might have different expectations even though they share the same goal. So, to keep the final product on track also ensure delivery day, each department of the team should share their point of view, what do they expect from others to keep things going smoothly. This should be done before the project start and should be kept throughout the process until the project end day. With clear realistic expectations in the team, they will be more able to focus on the tasks and take part in decision-making. Altogether the team gets an opportunity to share their ideas and get support for the same.
Each member of a department should also share their expectation toward their tasks so that others could support them to achieve the team’s goal and further than that, the project’s goal.
2. Promote a community working environment
A sense of community is crucial for collaborative working environments
The fact is, when people feel like their opinion matters, they are more likely to apply themselves more. Conversely, when people know their opinion doesn’t count for anything, they feel redundant and team-playing disintegrates. Be patient and listen to your co-worker, appreciate their idea if it’s useful, or gently discuss if their idea just doesn’t fit, something like “Yes, I understand your point, but I think it would be better….”. By discussing together, people will have their chance to show themselves, and contribute their own ability for the product.
Besides that, teams do well when executives spend effort in supporting community relationships, demonstrate collaborative behavior themselves, understand each person’s strengths, and should create a dynamic environment that people can work, can play can enjoy together.
Share knowledge, insights, and resources
Knowledge is power. Having more knowledge and being able to see the bigger picture from both the group’s perspective increases productivity, positive collaboration, and the superior final product
However, face-to-face communication always feels more comprehensive. But things will get a little tricky if the team is in different locations, and different in time zone will push your teammates in some kind of awkward situation. Therefore, we need to find ways to create a collaborative “workplace”. These are some that we should apply to our team to smooth and speed the development process in such circumstances
1. Use a Flexible Collaboration Tool
When the team isn’t co-located, when it takes more than a walk down the hall to ask a question or resolve sticking point. It’s time where communication platforms take part in, Skype, Slack, etc. are some most common chat platforms currently in use. And you might want to try a workflow management app like Trello, Jira, …
These platforms help us to create a virtual workplace where we can assign, track task progress, … With the help of those tools, our project can stay away from “who’s done that, who’s doing what, what need to prioritized?”
2. Create Visibility
Visibility brings out trust. Visibility is the only way to gain confidence when people are apart. Try to visualize your work so that others could know what you are working on, what you’re up to so that no duplicate efforts could happen. We all know its time is wasted in a project, which could lead to a delay in the deadline and then, losing the client’s trust. Also, through sharing process updates and details mean your teams can focus on priorities and anticipate each other needs
3. Team Governance process
Maintaining structure keeps everyone on the same page. They know what to expect, have standards of communication and behavior, and are able to settle disputes. Setting up structured processes early and with the buy-in of your team helps keep disagreements to a minimum
4. Prioritize tasks based on business goals
No matter what situation your team is in, we are still heading to the final goal which is the success of the product. Ensure that each member has a big-picture grasp on both satisfying customers and meeting business goals. Once the big-picture is understood by all involved, the team can meet business goals by working together and prioritizing tasks, then find solutions to the most critical barriers to deployment
5. Last but not least – REMEMBER THE GOAL
Any project has to come to an end. All jobs are difficult and frustrating sometimes. But it’s important to remind your team that we’re all working under pressure and towards the same goal. Through communication, we could avoid finger-pointing while fostering idea exchange and understanding. Leave out unnecessary stress and building friendship, with a better mind, we could achieve bigger success
Bonus tip: As a tester, always remember to follow up your log tickets
On a tester perspective, their job ends when bugs reported. But at times due to a fast-paced environment and heavy workload under agile, developers might end up prioritizing the enhancement moreover your reported bugs. And when it happens, we simply can’t blame them for not working on the reported bug, other than your reported bug; they also have to work over product enhancement. So, it becomes your responsibility to keep following up with them over your reported critical bugs
At the end of the day, no project could ever be successful if we only keep the rope on one side. The developer or tester team alone cannot help a company soar. The more the team works as a team – collaborating across specialty – the easier it is to finish the work. If you haven’t collaborated across specialty, try it once, you might happy with the coming result.