Advice on How to Distribute Responsibility on Development Teams

For IT managers, staying on top of various issues becomes challenging, given the fast-paced development environment. Managing everything effectively can seem daunting as new responsibilities are assinged to an expanding team. In such cases, delegating tasks to team members could prove to be beneficial in enhancing productivity.

When managers fail to delegate tasks, they tend to overburden their teams, leading to increased chances of project failure.

Determining who would be a successful leader for development teams can be a challenge. There’s always a risk of disruption when assigning responsibilities. How can you ensure the next leader you choose is the right fit without disruptions?

Can you define the meaning of “delegation of authority”?

When we have several tasks to attend to, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, which can lead to errors. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been trying to complete several tasks simultaneously but cannot find the pen you’re using to write? After searching for it, Bob enters the office and informs you that the pen is in your hand.

When we try to manage every aspect of a project, including keeping it on track and ensuring the team delivers top-notch performance, we run the risk of overlooking minor details. Hiring Bob for the team could prove beneficial as he can identify small improvements that may lead to substantial increases in efficiency.

Delegation of authority is a process in which a manager assigns tasks to team members and grants them permission to execute those tasks.

The process of assigning specific procedures and responsibilities to team members in software teams is commonly known as delegation of authority.

How Delegation Impacts Remote Software Development Teams

Virtual software team managers often struggle to determine when and how to delegate authority and accountability within their teams, as shown in the research paper titled “Leader Delegation in Global Software Teams: Occurrence and Effects” conducted by institutions in the United States and Ireland.

To analyze leader delegation in global software teams, this research paper utilized a multi-method approach, including surveys and in-depth interviews with software development teams at a Fortune 100 software development and service organization, which has a workforce of over 350,000 employees worldwide. The online survey was completed by a total of 150 employees from China, India, Ireland, and the USA.

To read more about working from home and reimagining your career with Works, check out our blog post.

It can be inferred that managers are more likely to delegate added responsibilities to employees if they believe they are capable. If an employee has confidence in their ability to take on more tasks, their chances of being selected by their superiors increase.

Nonetheless, a shortage of self-awareness can hinder the success of task delegation in virtual teams. Therefore, it’s vital for managers to evaluate employees’ self-perception before delegating any responsibilities to them.

Ways to Entrust Your Development Team with Responsibility

Assessing the programmers’ self-awareness is crucial to comprehend their capabilities. Evaluating their ability to delegate other IT tasks is also necessary. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider the potential consequences of any mistakes they might make and the resources needed to rectify them.

In IT teams, where effective time management is crucial, leaders often doubt the idea of entrusting another employee with control. This mindset can result in a micromanaging approach and the belief that giving responsibility to someone else is fruitless.

What was the outcome exactly? It leads to increased tension, reduced productivity, and longer project completion times.

Delegating responsibility to other team members will give leaders the chance to concentrate on more critical tasks. Additionally, it provides team members with an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills, which increases their chances of being promoted – making it a very favourable option.

5 Approaches to Distribute Responsibility in a Development Team

Assess Existing Expertise

To delegate many management duties, start by evaluating the skill sets of your team members. Ask the following questions:

  • Is this developer capable of managing this project?
  • Do they possess the skills to lead?
  • Is it secure to entrust these responsibilities to them?

Apart from technical competency and knowledge, it’s crucial for professionals to have interpersonal and communication skills to excel in their tasks.

John is an incredibly skilled programmer who likes working independently and could be a valuable addition to any development team. Meanwhile, Jack is an equally remarkable candidate, even though he has less coding expertise than John. Jack’s vast experience in the industry and remarkable interpersonal abilities make him an asset to the team.

Ensure Reliability in Your Teammates.

If you plan to delegate responsibilities, it’s crucial to have confidence in the person you’re assigning. Trusting your colleague’s ability to accomplish an exceptional job allows you to concentrate on other tasks.

Delegating responsibilities can help you concentrate on your primary job functions, but it may cause added work and stress if you don’t trust your teammate’s capabilities.

Leaders can delegate responsibilities to their subordinates after establishing confidence in their capabilities over time. To integrate new team members successfully, mentorship and monitoring during their initial months on the job are crucial.

Begin Humble with High Aspirations

It’s advisable to introduce fresh team members to their roles gradually, rather than giving them full-scale projects to handle. Managing sizable projects can be intimidating, regardless of experience level, and put the team member under immense pressure.

Breaking down significant projects into manageable portions and establishing clear objectives before starting is critical. It’s also crucial to keep everyone involved informed of the project’s objectives, providing them with an overview of the situation and enabling them to make informed decisions about the task and its completion.

You can delegate more significant responsibilities as you become more confident in their capabilities, allowing them to oversee an entire project with minimal supervision.

Establish a Responsibility Delegation System

Upon assuming their role, the new leader will be responsible for a significant amount of work. To ensure that all parties involved are aware of their duties, it is advisable to document the process and make it accessible to everyone.

Pay attention to providing a comprehensive explanation of the decision-making process and the impact on their changing responsibilities.

As a chef, you’ll now create dishes for the restaurant. It’s necessary to document the process in writing to ensure effective communication. This will help the new chef identify the most effective combinations, such as which chocolate desserts pair best with sea salt or powdered sugar. Furthermore, these written records will serve as a guide in times of doubt.

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Arrange Consistent Feedback Sessions.

Meeting with your new supervisor for a personal discussion is an excellent method to gain insight into their progress in their new position. You can voice your grievances about the service or suggest ideas for potential improvements.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to offer your team the assistance they require to handle the heightened demands that come with added responsibility. This offers an opportunity to gain insights into their work ethic and character that were unknown to you previously.

Is it Necessary to Expand Your Development Team?

Are you struggling to keep up with the volume of work on your plate? Do you require additional personnel in your IT team to complete your projects? If so, the Works team is ready to assist. Our team has significant experience in identifying and hiring highly skilled IT professionals that meet your specific criteria. To learn how to access additional personnel, please click here.

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