Can non-technical servant leaders successfully work with development teams?
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Win them over
Starting off on the right foot is a good start. Get creative, there are plenty of ways to find inspiration.
Do your homework
Doing your homework will help you understand a little about a lot of things. It can also build your own credibility.
Work out how to communicate with your team
Time-boxed events provide opportunities to start building relationships using a designated output and outcome — all designed to provide incremental value overtime as you move forward.
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Identify your role in working with a technical team
Convey confidence and leadership
Get some quick wins
Communicating with your technical team
Overtime, once you get to know each other, trust is built and a relationship is established, it becomes easier.
Getting past uncertainty as a non technical person
Tips on how to get up to speed quickly
- Do your homework. As I said earlier, look at existing teams reports and other old project materials such as lesson’s learned, retrospective notes, risk management boards, old invoices — the whole gambit. This will allow you to spot common terms and themes to provide you with some direction.
- Talk to managers and other team members. Don’t be too nervous. Admitting uncertainty can connect with people and start building relationships.
- Establish a relationship with a mentor who had the knowledge and time to mentor you.
- Newbies should pair up with veterans to help them navigate their early days.
- Create a learning culture. Not only will this help you, but your team will appreciate you for it. Think about a learning path to advance your skills as a leader. Building this culture will enable you and other new teammates to get the proper information you need without too much fuss.
Working with your team
Remember that in scrum and agile the real measure of success is the overall success of the team.
- Understand what work needs to get done. Then, explain back that to the team to reiterate your understanding and the team’s understanding.
- You are there to remove impediments and not to be a technical expert.
- Roll your sleeves up when you need to. There is no ‘I’ in team, simply do.
- Lean on your team to help you try and understand their issues, so you can help them overcome them.
- Generally, people respond well to honesty. Bluffing your way out of things — does not help you or your team’s credibility.
- Think: how can we succeed together?