One of our managers here went on a 2 week motorcycle trip, so I’ve been taking on both his duties and mine over the past couple of weeks – I’m the lone development manager right as we are about to deliver one of our more complex releases in recent memory. Over this time, I’ve had a few thoughts worth keeping. Of all the different things I’ve done, I’ve realized that most of the management tasks can be put into 3 easy categories:
- Communication – keeping people informed of the information that is useful and relevant to them. The importance of open communication cannot be stressed enough. The importance of not over-communicating also cannot be stressed enough
- Directing traffic – making sure business priorities are translated into actionable tasks, and distributing that work, then ensuring that the process goes smoothly, and being prepared to red light or green light the results objectively.
- Removing obstacles – this is essentially enabling developers to focus on the things they do best, which is good for the business and for morale. Good developers don’t enjoy wasting cycles waiting for a document’s approval, preparation of a test environment, a new task, etc. When possible and reasonable, rapidly clear these issues so everyone can get back to work.
It’s a bit oversimplified, but I think it’s a pretty good starting point. I learn more each day.