Enterprise, Features, Insight

Opinion: 5 ways to build high-performing development teams

Rodrigo Castelo, Vice President of the Middle East & Africa at OutSystems, discusses 5 ways to build high-performing development teams in today’s industry. 

‘Time is money’ – This adage holds as true today as ever. In this fast-paced, evolving industry means that go-to-market times decide whether organizations can adapt to their customer’s changing habits and demands and enjoy first-mover benefits. To thrive in this ever-changing economy, companies need high-performing dev teams that ensure that they keep up pace with all these changes.

CIOs can build high-performing dev teams by promoting creativity, sharing ownership, and encouraging the team to share ideas freely. Yet always clearly setting the ultimate vision of where we want to be, and defining the success KPIs upfront. Otherwise, you risk people going thru perceived great ideas in the wrong direction. By behaving this way and using low-code to make development faster and easier while reducing repetition and grunt work, they can build a motivated team that will go the extra mile.

But first, let’s define what constitutes a high-performing team. These teams have members that are deeply committed to achieving the same goals and delivering superior business results. One of the greatest things about these teams is that they usually show greater degrees of employee satisfaction and customer retention.

 Some of the characteristics of high-performing teams include:

  • Share a common vision and well-defined KPIs
  • Develop a deep trust
  • Have clear roles
  • Follow open communication
  • Show strong cooperation and engagement
  • Demonstrate decentralized hierarchy

There are five best practices that help CIOs develop a high-performing team –

#1 Know your team

Building a high-performing team requires time to observe and listen to the team. Study their interactions and identify your team’s characters, strengths and weaknesses. A fairly relaxed and conversational quick kick-off session can help achieve this. It is also important to give the team an insight into you and seek the same in return by asking innocuous questions to prompt some insightful conversations.

#2 Lead with your team

For a high-performing team, it’s imperative for you to first win them over and get them to trust and follow your lead. Three ways you can achieve that is by

  • Being honest and transparent
  • Be true to commitments or lose credibility
  • Respect their time

#3 Play to their strengths

Understanding the team’s strengths makes it easy to allocate tasks effectively, ensuring that everyone’s strengths are harnessed and that any development points are supported and grown.

For example, an inexperienced developer who is good at understanding the business needs can be paired up with a seasoned developer to build excellent applications for the business.

#4 Eliminate/motivate the mood killers

During your team discovery journey, you will inevitably run into mood killers – individuals who sap all the joy and energy from a team. These team members moan, complain, find fault, and are unhappy.

To deal with such individuals, once identified, you can provide them with a purpose to try to divert or suppress their negativity. For people critical of new ideas, be inquisitive about why they think it won’t work and whether they can come up with alternate solutions and focus on solutions that are geared to your common vision and KPIs. This will result in a win-win for all.

#5 Invest in low-code

If your team is tasked with building innovative consumer and business apps that scale to millions of users in a few months, they probably can’t do it with traditional coding. No matter how carefully you’ve prepared them, there are only so many hours in a day. It’s just not possible to develop consumer apps and business systems in a short timeframe with traditional and even some low-code platforms.

Instead, help them develop at top speed with zero friction and errors with a high-performance low-code platform with a visual, model-driven design powered by AI and automated lifecycle management that radically accelerates developer productivity.

Building a high-performing development team requires a combination of “people skills,” organizational behavior, and the ability to unite around a shared vision. You should get to know your team by whichever method works quickly for you, and if you don’t know what that is, try different things, find out what works for you, and practice. Pair up team members, where possible, to complement each other and make them more effective together. Let the team know who you are and show them what makes you tick. Be honest, deliver what you committed to, and treat your team with respect.

However, in today’s breakneck business world, you also need help from technology if you want high performance. To accelerate your delivery cycles and help your team take the next step at high performance, take a look at low-code. A recent study shows that users of low-code exhibited a 20% agile maturity advantage compared to those not using low-code. Low-code can provide you with the ability to adapt customer-facing systems at the speed of your customer’s demand.



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