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Leadership best practices

 
Ranch Hand
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I have made some notes on what I think are some best practices for a Team Leader. These are just based on my understanding. If there are any more or if there are any corrections ,do add:


Leadership

Description:

- is the layer between management and developers. Should be always knowing the overall picture of the development to communicate.
- sort of role model for the team.
- should know how to walk ahead of the team but also be aware that at time people behind him may be knowing better direction and thus should be open to take the direction from them too in that case.
- has to be the "It works" man. has to take the responsibility for the project, make it work and keep it on track.


Responsibilities:

As he is layer between the management and the other developers:

 To the management he:
   - communicates with the management for taking the requirements. Takes clarification.
- Gives estimates and negotiates on it as well as on the deadlines.
- reports any issues/risks.
- sends status report to the management. Updates them on the big picture.
- finally, ensures the successful delivery.

 To the developers he:
   - may be required to distribute the work.
   - guides them as he knows the project architecture if they have any clarification questions or any roadblocks.
- review code.
- ensures that coding standards are followed.
- mentor, coach.

Skills a leader should possess:

   - should be confident and people friendly. Should keep smile as he is to be a role model for others.
- should never ever lose his temper.
- should be responsible person.
   - should have ability to keep clear understanding of the overall project in his mind.
- should be very clear in communication (with team as well as with management)
- should be very fast in work.
- ability to quickly review someone's work accurately.
- should be technically good.
- should give credit to team wherever required.
   
   
How to lead?:

Divide total time into leadership and coding out of the 40 hours.
Take requirements. Clearly explain to team and guide them.
Negotiate and say no to improper deadlines.
Divide work into team.
Review their work.
Make sure that they are following the coding standards.
Help them if they get stuck somewhere.
Raise risks if any.
give status report to the management along with risks/issues.
take responsibility in case of any technical issue.


Tips :

- Always keep yourself ready in mind with what to communicate. (whether with team or with management).
- Draw rough diagram of tasks to keep thinking clear.
- Dont expect to get too much time for coding as there will be time wasters keep plan to do focused coding of few hours everyday.
- Complete work ready well in advance as there may be some time wasters later on.
- Keep a plan for crises.Carve way during crises .
- be accurate in decisions else all time will be lost.
 
Rancher
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Great post!

Do you think that a team lead should take on tickets and do coding themselves, or solely focus on the role of leading the rest of the team?

In your opinion, should the team lead always be the one to review code and give their approval before code gets merged? Or can peers also code review and approve code? Or does it depend on the maturity of the team?
 
Marshal
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Well...

The OP describes one brand of leadership. There are other definitions of leadership though.

A person can exhibit leadership even without an official title or position of authority. This doesn't fit OP's description of leadership being the layer between management and developers. In fact, I don't meet many "leaders" in that layer and the ones I have met don't stay there for very long. Rather, most people who are in that layer between management and developers tend to act like supervisors and task masters rather than true leaders.

These are the parts of OP's definition that are counter to what I think of as leadership. To me these are NOT what good leadership is about:
- the layer between management and developers.
- has to be the "It works" man. hast to take the responsibility for the project, make it work and keep it on track.
- reports any issues/risks
- sends status report to the management. Updates them on the big picture.
- ensures the successful delivery
- ensures that coding standards are followed
- divide work into team
- review their work

What I think OP got right about a good leader:
- confident and people friendly
- be a role model
- mentor/coach
- good communicator
- technically good
 
Marshal
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Won't people recognise and follow a leader automatically?
 
lowercase baba
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Won't people recognise and follow a leader automatically?


I think you overestimate people...
 
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