The relationship between Project Managers and Developers

27 October 2016 ‐ 2 min read

If there’s a secret sauce ingredient that goes into the mix of making a company great, it’s found on the shelf labeled ‘relationships’. It’s something we believe in wholeheartedly, from team member to client. Here's a few key tools to help your team build and sustain good relationships between project managers and developers specifically, as, let's be honest, it's one the the relationships that can feel the strain from time to time thanks to opposing points of tension. Our company vision and values come to life in a number of ways, but building solid relationships within our organisation is number one.

 

We rely on clear and easy communication channels to get the job done and we believe in the power of sharing fresh ideas.

 

Rules for Relationships

Within 4i, we believe in honesty and transparency, and that spills over into our client relationships too. We rely on clear and easy communication channels to get the job done and we believe in the power of sharing fresh ideas. For us, one of the most important internal relationships resides between our Project Managers and Developers. Our Project Managers are a critical part of our operations, as they keep their eyes peeled on the big picture, and our developers are responsible for creating the little things that become big parts of our projects. Very often, our Project Managers lead the way by charting out the project plan and making sure we’re reaching those milestones along the way. Our developers often lean on our project managers for guidance, using their creativity and excellent skillsets to build the very best applications for our clients. Setting clear expectations and working together towards project finalisation is vital for our company’s success. If you’re wondering about how to improve or finesse the relationships between your project managers and developers, we’ve put together these useful checklists, from both sides of the relationship:

 

Our Project Managers’ Developer Checklist:

  • Developers need the right type of environment and tools to unlock their creative potential. Ensure your team is well resourced and provided with the right tools, systems and frameworks they need. Because they usually work in a methodical way, ensure that their days are kept to schedule. That means no surprise meetings or non-critical interruptions.
  • Mentoring plays an important role in keeping your team motivated, focused and learning. Find useful ways to embed mentoring into your operations, your projects and your daily tasks.
  • Always have your team’s back – supportive Project Managers and Developers are the best resource.
  • Checking in, on a regular basis is important. Quick daily meetings at a set time each day are useful for checking in, problem solving and sharing ideas. Figuring out the solutions to smaller problems as they arise helps you to stay on track towards finalising that project.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new – your developers will quickly tell you whether it works or not (their job, very often, involves them breaking things just so they can get it working again. They’re good with this!).
  • Remember that while you, as a Project Manager, represent the client’s needs and project requirements, your developers represent the project’s critical success. Ultimately, each piece of the project puzzle your developers build form critical parts of the entire project.
  • At the start of the project, planning is critical. That planning phase is key for laying out the project, from start to finish, and enables you to build a solid working relationship before you even begin phases of development.
  • Don’t forget to acknowledge the small wins and celebrate the big ones. Each milestone in a project brings you closer towards releasing that application or launching that website.

 

Our Developers’ Checklist for Project Managers:

  • Being cognisant of the pressure Project Managers operate under is important, so developers do their best to stick to the project schedule. Keeping in mind that Project Managers have to keep clients happy while ensuring that their team delivers well, developers do their best to perform in accordance with the project plan.
  • Making sure that queries are well covered during a project’s planning phase is important, as this makes everyone’s job easier. Figuring out solutions to development problems becomes simpler when we share insights from previous development cycles too, as this can speed up problem solving for the whole team.
  • Offering solutions or outlining concerns is important, but it becomes highly useful when placed into the context of an entire project. This makes it easier for Project Managers to respond effectively, allocate necessary resources and support the larger team.
  • Project Managers are your client’s first contact, so when a client picks up on a problem, they’ll need to be equipped to respond to and solve it quickly. For that, they need important information, and they’ll rely on their developers for it. Ensuring that client queries are dealt with as quickly and fully as possible helps keep this relationship solid. Focus on providing solutions to problems, rather than ruminating on it’s possible causes.
  • Regularly sharing updates on project progress helps to maintain trust, and also keeps your Project Manager fully briefed on those milestones or goals.

 

Of course, it's not just about Project Managers and Developers - many of these tools can be applied across different teams. Here’s to great relationships, all round!

 

 

Strategy, development