Pratik Dholakiya July 6th, 2021

How to Manage Your Development Team if You’re a Solopreneur

Being a solopreneur is not an easy job. You’ve to handle a dozen things yourself and take care of important decisions. Hiring and managing a software development team as a solopreneur may seem like an even more daunting task, to put it subtly.

But, if need be, you must be able to handle things well so that your software development process goes hand in hand with your key business milestones. 

In this article, let’s explore some unique and proven ways to manage a development team as a solopreneur. By the end of it, you’ll take away some brilliant ideas to manage a team and ensure that the growth of your business is on track.

1. Pick Your Team Wisely

Tips for managing a team start with choosing the right team. As a solopreneur, you’ll have to communicate the development requirements, ensure that the development cycle is on track, and manage the team to ensure maximum productivity. But, all this is only possible if you have the right team on your side.

So, ensure that you pick the development team who are:

  • Adept with the tech stack that you’re looking for
  • Have the ability to come up with creative solutions
  • Do not need micromanagement
  • Align with your business’ values and goals
  • Are you enthusiastic about contributing to your business’ growth?

2. Know When to Meddle

Yes, as a solopreneur, you might feel the need to monitor each and every step of your development team and micromanage their tasks. But it is very crucial to understand that this approach doesn't benefit you and your team. 

As a solopreneur as well as a team manager, it is essential to stay updated on the whereabouts of your development team. But, it is best to avoid taking this too far, so much so that you start micromanaging them. 

Another point to note here is that you must know when to meddle in the software development process and when not to. For example, as a business owner, you should set expectations and ensure that you communicate the requirements. 

On the other hand, it is best to leave the technical decisions up to your development team as you might not have adequate knowledge on that front.

3. Communicate the Requirements in a Clear Way

One of the key factors in managing your development team better is proper communication. Lack of communication or miscommunication can lead to irreparable damage leading to a waste of valuable resources such as time, money, etc.

Hence, it is vital that you start with a clear system of communication that enables you to hand over all the requirements that you need from the development team. This step becomes even more important as a solopreneur as more things are at stake. 

4. Understand the Risks Involved

A common mistake that most solopreneurs make while managing a software development team has unrealistic expectations. This may stem from the lack of understanding of how software development works or because you’ve invested your valuable resources in the development team.

Either way, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of all the risks involved in the software development process and set yourself for failures. You can do this by networking with other solopreneurs and understanding the risks involved by communicating with your development team. 

5. Set Clear Goals and KPIs For Your Development Team

Setting clear goals for your development team as a whole as well as for individual team members is essential to ensure maximum commitment and productivity. Therefore, try setting clear monthly and quarterly goals for your development team right from the beginning. This way, you can ensure that your team is on the right track.

It is also crucial to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the progress of your development team. If your software development team follows an agile process for software development, you can measure KPIs such as velocity, burn down, code coverage for testing, cycle time, etc.

The KPIs that you set and track can also be specific to the software that you are looking to develop. For example, if your software development team is working towards adding additional features to your order fulfillment system, then you can track KPIs that are specific to the order fulfillment process.

6. Leave Room For Innovation

Innovation and creativity are not just for huge companies and corporations. There is room for software innovation everywhere - even in a small business. Innovation can lead to better solutions, increased profits, better software development efficiency, reduced costs, and many more great benefits.

Hence, instead of simply expecting your development team to work on tasks assigned to them, leave some room for innovation. Encourage them to come up with new ideas and speak up if they feel that they can benefit your business in any way. 

You can have open, interactive sessions on innovation every month to encourage this practice, and you may be surprised by the kind of results you see.

7. Recognize and Reward Good Work

Every relationship works two ways. The same applies here as well. Instead of simply expecting your development team to put in a great effort, you can reciprocate their efforts by rewarding them on a timely basis.

Recognizing and rewarding good work can benefit your business in many ways. First of all, it will help you retain your team members better as they will find greater work satisfaction. Moreover, it will also encourage your development team to put in the effort needed to benefit your company as a whole.

Final Thoughts

Managing a development team may seem like an impossible task as a solopreneur. But with the right approach and systems in place, you can achieve some great results for your business. 

The strategies and tips mentioned in this article will help you hire and manage a development team as a solopreneur in the most efficient way possible. Implementing these tactics will help you achieve your business and software development goals within the stipulated timelines.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content & data-driven SEO, and advisor at MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, CMO Asia, SEMrush Meetup, MICA, IIT-Roorkee and other major events across Asia. He is active on Twitter and can be reached @DholakiyaPratik.

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