How to align your dev team when working from home


According to a variety of different online sources, approximately 74% of all dev teams in the UK are now working from home full time. Regardless of how true this number is, we know that a huge proportion of the dev population are at least working in a hybrid environment as opposed to the 100% full office role. So how, as a Head of Development, do you align your dev team to make sure that they’re able to successfully achieve goals and release products and updates as effectively as they could in the office? 

We’re going to give you our top tips that have worked for us to help you on your way to a fully aligned dev team.

Communication tools that work for your team 

Whether it’s Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or whatever other instant messaging platform you opt for, finding the right communication platform is imperative to getting your dev team “on the same page”. Being able to quickly communicate a problem with legacy code, or to ask a fellow dev to test the new update before it’s released is imperative to a well operating dev team and so getting your communicative platform right is the most essential part of working from home. 

Project planning video calls 

Much like other departments like marketing and sales, project planning was easy in an office. You could sit around a table, draw up a plan on a whiteboard, and easily ask questions to the right person. But in a working from home or hybrid environment, it can be a lot more difficult to project plan with the same level of collaboration. 

We’ve found that video calls with whiteboards have helped us to brainstorm, work through project planning, talk through any potential obstacles that we may have in getting the work done on time, and what we need as a team to make sure the development goals are achieved. By trying to create an office environment online, with the same tools as we had in person, we’ve managed to make it feel almost the same and just as effective!

Huddles, huddles, huddles

We can’t speak highly enough of the importance of having daily “huddles”. Each company probably calls these something different but essentially, it has the same meaning. Basically, a huddle is where you jump on a morning (or afternoon) call every day to say what you’re going to achieve that day and how you’re going to achieve it. You can then hear what the rest of your teammates are also working on, if there are any potential overlaps with what you’re working on and if you need anything from the rest of the team. Our morning huddles have proven to be very successful in keeping the team aligned!

Ticketing platforms are number one

If you’re not using a ticketing platform to help your dev team, you need to start looking into options now! These platforms keep all of the pending tickets from across your company’s departments in one place, helping the dev team to work through them, prioritise them, see what needs to be done and then completing them for roll out. Without this organised approach, your dev team will be working on ad hoc tickets coming in from all directions with little or no insight into the problem and how to fix it. With a tool like Jira, for example, you can even get the whole team to be able to see the tickets, where it is in the “sprint”, who’s working on it and any potential comments or questions can be added directly to the ticket. 

Feedback sessions with the whole team

It’s important for developers to get feedback not just from the peers in their own department but from other departments like sales, customer success, and marketing too. Ultimately, they all work together to get what the customer wants. For example, if a salesperson is on a call and a big customer is ready to close on the deal if a new easy feature is added, then it’s up to the dev team to get that done and let the salesperson know when it’s completed. Or, if a customer is about to churn because there’s a bug in the system, the customer success team needs to tell the devs about the issue so they can get it sorted before the customer goes to a competitor. Feedback is essential, especially for SaaS companies and even more so in working from home set ups and hybrid environments.

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