Chow #146 – Stagnant Productivity

Chris is a project manager in a successful product company and has been managing a team of 10 developers, who deliver a high end analytical platform, used by hundreds of users. Chris and his team are aware of their accomplishment and take pride in their methods. While the product is well received, and the team has been delivering good quality code, the productivity has been at the same level and not reflecting the experience of the team over time. Chris has been urging his team to focus on building reusable code, frameworks and tools towards improving productivity. Chris has been emphasizing this aspect after every release, during team meetings and also individually during reviews, but to no avail. All the team members agree with Chris’ observation. However even after couple of years of working on the product, members are not able to work on this aspect. What could be the problem and as Chris, what would be your course of action?

Suggested Solution:

I, as Chris, will meet with the team members individually to find out their view on this requirement. Understand their disposition and why no apparent effort towards improving productivity has been made – will do this after a clear explanation of how the observation has been made and the contributing measures.
Identify the contributors – if it is practical difficulty arising from tight schedules and no room to implement re-usability while developing or a cultural issue of aversion to risk taking and such.
If it is practical limitation due to tight schedule, will allocate some extra resource towards gaining long term improved productivity.
If it is cultural, need to empower the team to feel free to experiment and also embolden them by providing the right support. This will be time consuming and also needs to work beyond the confines of the team to bring about a change in culture and hence mindset.

What do you think?

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