Developers love being productive. It is in our nature to tweak systems to shave off milliseconds. We try new tools, routines, and techniques and often see benefits.
Being productive as a team is a different beast though. We need to work under various constraints, and often sacrifice personal productivity for collective gain.
Here is a simple framework that we can use to build the most effective team:
Goal driven output
It is 2021 and it is ridiculous that we still talk about time spent at work or lines of code written as metrics to evaluate the work of human developers.
Instead, the norm should be that teams that deliver on committed goals are the most productive. To increase our output, we should focus on the goal-setting process. Fine-tune it to ensure that goals target the right customer impact, are estimated well, and given to the right individuals.
That will give us a much larger productivity boost than measuring our keystrokes.
Equip the makers
Makers are the most important 'asset' for a tech-driven company. They must have the right tools, environment, and support to do their best work. The one thing that often gets missed is 'uninterrupted maker time'. Give your team at least two no-Zoom days and see their productivity zoom up.
Help each other
The whole is many times greater than the sum of its parts. Helping out the team should be as important as coding on our own module. Don't let code reviews pile up, mentor a young one, share tips and tricks, give feedback - it is always more fun and efficient to do it as a team.
Stay healthy, as a team
It is impossible to do good work without good physical and mental health. A team that encourages each other to be healthy is unstoppable.
Sleep well and encourage your team to sleep well as well. How about a sleep time leaderboard? Eat well -- whatever works for your body. Get some exercise. Go to that therapy session.
Never forget to celebrate critical milestones. You and your team deserve it. Celebrations serve another purpose that directly impacts productivity — they give us memories of the dopamine hit that pushes us through the tough days.
We are building Paco with the belief that individual action empowers team productivity. If every member of the team delivered on their commitments on time, the team will see an outsized impact.
Credit: Image from Raw Pixel @ Freepik