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Mar 26 2019 | byAnton Shaleynikov

Manage Software Company - Philosophy of Development

There is always time to talk about work ethics and rules that influence the turnover rate of a software development company. It doesn’t matter what kind of bonuses or incentives you offer – if the company does not have strong leadership and clear guidelines, chances are high that employees won’t stay there for long.

At DashBouquet, we value the fact that our employees have been with us for quite a long time and new people keep joining the team. We think one of the reasons for that is our Blackbook of Rules. Thus, we’d like to share the main takeaways with you – and maybe they’ll inspire you to come up with your own guide or help you improve the current one.

# 1

Build trust It’s a common truth that even the smallest lie leads to big problems. A healthy work environment implies that employees can trust you anytime and admit their mistakes or call in sick, without fearing the consequences.

We believe that software development companies should focus on quality instead of quantity. This said, a well-written and clear piece of code is better than a complete task, full of errors and bugs. That’s why we don’t mind people taking their time off work when they need it: on the condition that they meet the deadline and keep the project going.

So the primary task for any company is to build trust between the employer and the employees when the employees are not afraid of admitting a mistake or asking for a day-off.

Common examples of mistrust:

  • Have you checked whether it works? - Yes, it should be.
  • It’s 3 PM already and you are still not at work? - I have a fever and thought I’d stay in.
  • What did you do today? - There was a mistake, I don’t remember what exactly it was, so for the last three days, I committed nothing.

Things to communicate to your team

  • If you are not able to meet the deadline, report about it so the work does not pause.
  • If you feel ill, report about it. We don’t encourage sacrificing own health in favor of work.
  • If someone asks whether something is working, confirm only after checking it to avoid doing double work in the future.
  • If you don’t know something, don’t hesitate to admit it.

# 2

Develop motivation We perform lots of actions both at home and at work. Some of them are done because we have to - while others are done because we want to achieve something. That’s what we call motivation and that’s the difference between the average and great things.

If your developers work only because they have to and do not enjoy it at all, most probably you won’t get stellar results. On the other hand, if your employees are really interested in a high-quality result and approach work with enthusiasm, they will do their best to come up with an innovative and efficient solution.

Things to communicate to your team

  • Try finding inner motivation for anything you do.
  • Be honest with yourself why you acted in a certain way. When you start admitting your own mistakes, you start becoming a true professional.
  • Be proactive than reactive: suggest things instead of asking what to do next.

# 3

Keep everything in order There are different views on how organizing the workplace impacts overall work results. We believe that keeping everything in order is a sure sign of a professional.

This regards not only the workplace organization but the workflow organization as well. When you don’t know where the malfunction is and how to fix it - that’s a disorder. Same applies to the situation where everything is blurred and there are no clear rules on the work process.

Creating wireframes and writing down the development plan - all these processes contribute to structuring your work. Once you have clear goals and an outlined plan, it will be easier to avoid mistakes and deliver an expected result.

The good organization includes:

  • Employees’ well-being;
  • Organized workplace;
  • Regular communication flow with the client;
  • Regular and timely status calls;
  • Clear code;
  • Regular tests;

Things to communicate to your team

  • Keep an eye on filling in the reports on time;
  • Do not commit the commented code;
  • Always test the code;
  • Develop a set of internal rules and follow them.

# 4

Enssure efficient teamwork Teamwork is not only about a group of people that works on the same task. Most importantly, it’s about mutual help.

Here it’s worth mentioning the importance of recruitment/HR processes that help select the candidates that would become a perfect fit for your team. No one can force employees to become best buddies - but would be great if they communicated with each other and did not hesitate to ask for and offer help.

A communication gap leads to the project freeze and further consequences. Ensure your team members get along well and know when to step in and help each other.

An example

There is something wrong with this, can you check it out?

Why it’s not good

If there is a problem - describe it as precisely as possible, with no excessive wordiness. Asking for help is great, but don’t go with a vague request. Do some groundwork and inform the person on the matter of the problem to make it easier for them.

# 5 

Be responsible Responsibility is equal to action. When you shift your responsibility on to someone else, it has a negative impact on your work.

This point relates to the one about building trust. When an employee trusts you, they will most probably take responsibility for the action because they know it won’t lead to anything horrible. At the same time, by taking responsibility they will raise their own confidence and will earn respect both from you and peers.

Examples of shifting responsibility:

  • We can’t affect the situation.
  • The alarm did not work and that’s why I am late.

Things to communicate to your team

  • Remember: your work helped you achieve everything you currently have. You are equally responsible for your mistakes and your achievements.
  • More responsibility leads to more respect and help from your peers.
  • Learn to accept own mistakes and turn them into useful lessons.

# 6

Always have a cear goal Any action leads to an outcome. But in order to make this action useful, one should have a clear goal in mind.

What thought do you want to say? What task do you have to do? What’s going on in the project right now?

All these questions are important and all of them should have a clear and definite answer. If an employee cannot answer at what stage the project is or what are his/her current tasks, that’s an indicator that the person is not motivated and has no goal to achieve.

In the end, only the results will matter - and they cannot be achieved if one does not know what to aim for.

Things to communicate to your team

  • Think before saying to avoid misperception.
  • Try to always keep a structured plan to follow when doing any task.
  • Break the tasks down into the smaller ones but always keep the focus on the final goal.

Final word

Of course, every development company is unique and has its own set of rules and guides to follow.

However, our personal example proves that our BlackBook is working. We see a low turnover rate and our team is a bunch of friends who loves hanging out together and always helps each other. Would be great if we helped some of you adjust your processes - let us know what you think!