October 8, 2019 // By Stuart Williams
How do you ensure maximum developer productivity in your organization? There are some easy steps you can take. You might just find yourself accelerating your way to greater heights.
Create a Comfortable Environment
A significant productivity driver is environmental conditions: noise, light, and privacy. Bad ergonomics can also lower productivity. Make sure your developers work in healthy conditions.
Give Them the Tools They Need
Invest in the tools your developers will need to do their best work. You don’t want your developers running uphill against a capacity barrier or knowledge deficit. Provide them the tools and training for the optimal level of mastery.
Do the Same with Platforms
The same rules apply to platforms as tools. Lack of knowledge inhibits productivity and results in poor quality. Think over the long term. Once a journey level of knowledge has been achieved, productivity often levels out. Invest in platform training to help developers use it better.
Encourage Critical Thinking
There is no substitute for team members being able to think critically. Reward and encourage critical thinking as an expectation in your organization. Give developers the training and support to apply critical thinking to product challenges. The investment will pay off in the long run.
Keep It Positive
It’s essential to foster a nurturing, healthy workplace as bad vibes crush productivity. Encourage neutral, solutions-focused communication centered on constructive feedback and common courtesy.
Follow This Sequence for Better Shipping-Tempo, Productivity and Quality
The following process is specifically designed to help limit risk and provide greater business value.
- Peer Review
- Store Build Artifacts
DevOps is No Longer an Option
Teams that adopt a continuous integration and deployment approach are more productive than teams that don’t. This should be table stakes, like source control.
Check Work Frequently
Frequent reviews of small changes are more productive and likely to find and have issues fixed quickly than huge reviews. Small obvious reviews are faster and respect people’s time better.
Improve everyone’s productivity by having stories that are right-sized, which take three days or less to do, that are clear, and have good acceptance criteria. Well-written stories reduce bugs, avoid story walkthroughs, and are an effective investment of time.
Understand Measurement Metrics
Peter Drucker believes that you cannot manage what you do not measure. W. Edwards Deming, conversely, felt that if there is no metric for something it doesn’t automatically mean you’re not going to be successful. The truth is, both are correct – metrics help manage but so does observation. Lack of metrics isn’t failure. Lack of attention to metrics is.
Here are some key metrics to follow for key roles in delivery:
- Story rejections: points/BA
- Pull-Request Rejections/Developer
- Count/Severity (bug points) / Developer
- CI Build Failures / Developer
- Story Points / Week / Developer
- Bug Points found / QA
- Rework (hours) / Developer