Apart from creating a friendly environment, promoting collaboration has big benefits in the application development process. When IT professionals work collectively, they can bounce ideas off one another and catch more bugs than if they were working alone. Also, the time-to-market period may be reduced as teamwork allows employees to apply the right skills to difficulties.
Teamwork is the ideal vehicle to transfer knowledge with others. When developers collaborate, they observe different work styles and pick up tips and tricks of the trade. If you have more people on your team who know how to do something well, you will have more built-in redundancies which helps ensure projects are completed correctly and on time.
Here are three ways to strengthen teamwork in a workplace:
1. Co-locate Employees: There are many advantages of remote teamwork. Telecommuting is a recruiting tool and inexpensive perk for managers. It allows a team to grow without needing to add physical space. Also, many programmers find it easier to focus on tasks when away from a noisy office.
But sometimes working from home also has its difficulties. A big one is that teamwork suffers. It is difficult to have impromptu meetings and to collaborate on last-minute fixes when employees are not on-site. To maximize teamwork and reap all its benefits, always try to group developers together in the same space by project.
However, It’s not enough to put desks together. The work area needs to be designed to support collaboration. Set up easel pads and whiteboards in the room for ideation and sketches. Bring comfortable and moveable seating so that teams aren’t constrained by fixed furniture. Also, the space needs to be private enough so that your team can strategize without disturbing others.
2. Buddy Up: Pair programming is a great tool for increasing teamwork in the workplace. Using this method, developers partner to tackle a project. Usually, one person says what should be done while the other does the actual coding. Then, they change their roles. With this, one programmer to check the other’s work.
Another method is to pair developers with quality analysts(QA). In many development environments, programmers do their work and toss it over the fence to QA staff. Quality Analysts pros put the code through a variety of tests that programmers have little insight, and then mark it as passed or failed in an impersonal tracking system. This method can develop problems like developers may not know the tests their codes need to pass, they become frustrated communicating through a tracking system instead of face to face, etc.
To solve these issues, bring the two groups together during testing. This will allow developers to provide immediate feedback, and resolve bugs or changes on the spot instead of having to wait hours or days to address problems.
3. Seek collaborative specifications: If your business analysts develop their specifications without input from developers, it creates an order taker mentality. This can affect developer’s morale, and can hinder true collaboration. A better method is to include members of the development team during the specification process.
The best method to increase your IT team’s productivity and accuracy is to make teamwork in the workplace a department-wide priority. Although it may take some shaking up of the status quo to make it happen, but the end results are likely to be well worth the time and effort.