How to Work Effectively with Developers

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How to Work Effectively with Developers

At the core of any well delivered web or mobile app development project lies a strong implementation plan and solid foundation of communication. The success of the solution depends on how well the project owner and developers work together. A collaborative approach is key.

The purpose of these suggestions is to help facilitate building great relationships with your development team. Doing so will significantly help in ensuring the success of the project. In the long run, it’s a win-win situation for all involved.

Write a one-page project description

Meeting someone or a group of people for the first time can be awkward. You both don’t know what to expect from each other. Go to this initial meeting prepared with all or most of the project facts on your fingertips. Clearly define the project and its goals in a one-page document. This allows the developers to read the short summary and have a bigger picture of what you want to achieve. Coming to the discussion prepared earns you their respect. People collaborate well when they professionally respect each other.

Be prepared with sketches

Going to the discussion with sketches for the solution shows the developers that you are ready to get the ball rolling. Visualisation means a lot, and by bringing sketches, the team will be able to understand what you’re looking to create far easier. You can also prepare to collaborate with your developer to create the sketches. The developers will see you as an open person not intimidated by getting suggestions from other people.

Mention 3rd party software

Give your developer all the information about third party products/services (MailChimp, Stripe, etc.) that you are going to use for the project. This gives them a complete overview of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Secondly, it gives the developers an opportunity to plan ahead and make suggestions if possible.

Break the project into smaller tasks

Take the time to take a deeper look at the project and the expected outcomes. Find a way to break down the project into smaller and manageable tasks that can be completed independently and sequentially. This allows you to be more productive as smaller tasks are less intimidating and easier to manage. You also potentially have the advantage of producing a reusable piece of work for future use. More importantly, you will quickly have a tangible demo to present to the client. You will get early input and know if you have to make some changes. It’s easier to make changes on smaller tasks. In my opinion, this modular approach is the most productive and effective.

Agree to achievable milestones

Start the project by agreeing on a work schedule that is convenient for both of you. Be sure to set target milestones with a week or two of spare time up your sleeve. This will push the developer(s) to give the project the urgency that it deserves and requires but will also give you a buffer in case anything goes wrong. There are fewer chances of procrastinating on a project that has a well-defined timeline.

Daniel Boterhoven

Developer and Founder @DenimDevAU. I create #apps for the web and mobile.

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