How to develop better, happier teams

If you read one thing this week — whether you are a manager or worker — this should be it. Bill Jordan describes some key components he’s discovered that enable better teams with happier team members who stay at their job longer and do better work.

Each point really requires his additional context, and I highly encourage you to read it, but here are his primary headlines:

  • Be wary of “high performers”
  • Encourage continual product improvement
  • Encourage code ownership
  • Recognize leaders
  • Watch out for misleading metrics
  • Limit interruptions
  • Prefer private workspaces
  • Encourage experimentation
  • Let employees leave
  • Never turn down small requests
  • Abolish yearly and bi-yearlyย performance reviews
  • Managers are not better than their employees
  • Don’t discount younger or older developers
  • Don’t have stupid dress codes

The article is geared toward managers who manage development teams. His experience is as a manager of a group of software leads and about fifty developers. However, I think most of the tips can apply (modified) to a far broader audience, including smaller teams that include non-developer roles, as well as remote teams.

Bill isn’t afraid to go against the grain of trendy team practices you often see today, and that’s partly why I enjoyed the post so much. I hope you read the whole thing, closely.