How to Help Your Team Work More Efficiently

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As an engineering manager, it can often be challenging to strike the balance between ensuring a high quality of work with a comprehensive review process, and micromanaging your team. However, by establishing clear expectations, processes, and responsibilities, you can empower your team to manage their own responsibilities efficiently, and reduce the number of times you need to step in to fix things.


Outline Clear Expectations

Establishing clear expectations is crucial for effective leadership. In a report published by Gallup in 2015, only 13% of employees strongly agreed that their managers helped them set performance goals. As an engineering manager you have a long list of responsibilities, but ensuring your team understands their objectives, and feels prepared to accomplish them is perhaps the most crucial one.  


This article outlines six steps to setting clear expectations:

  1. Ensuring you understand all expectations yourself before you communicating them to others will ultimately lead to a much more aligned team. For example: Ensure you have a strong understanding of design requirements before you review them with your team so that you're prepared to answer questions and provide clear direction.
  2. Understand the skill set and experience of your team, so that you can predict where challenges will occur, and provide extra support. Check in with your team regularly to ensure any unforeseen challenges are resolved quickly.
  3. Provide justification for your expectations
  4. Meet with your employees and have a two-way conversation about these goals
  5. Write the expectations down so your team can always refer back to it
  6. Gain agreement and commitment from your team members


Establish Clear Processes

Establishing a clear processes and procedures for working with multiple stakeholders can be a challenging process, and sticking to those rules can be even more difficult. However, having this set out from the beginning allows your team members to focus on executing the process rather than spend time wondering what to do or who to talk to. If you aren’t sure what your exact processes are, this article from Wrike offers a great idea of how you can identify your process and build a better one in a few steps.


Identifying your process


Building a better process


Responsibilities

Setting clear responsibilities is especially important to ensure that everything gets done and that less time is wasted on issues like members jockeying for positions or trying to pawn unwanted tasks on each other.

Here are some of the steps you can take to define these responsibilities:


Conclusion

In order to help your team work more efficiently, ensure at the beginning of every project that:


Of course, processes always evolve, but it’s a good idea to ensure that your team is on the same page about that change. And since it is your team, don’t forget to get their feedback as well!

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