How Can the Development Manager Be Effective?
In particular, when it comes to reviews and / or ranking, how can the Development Manager have enough information to be fair. Being a Development Manager is hard and requires some basic actions to stay in touch with the people they are supervising to help them understand what is happening with that person. Some examples include:
- One-on-one meetings with people - say every 1 or 2 weeks - to talk about personal development and development of team behavior.
- Bi-weekly meetings with POs, SMs, teams to discuss people, needs of the team.
- Support (be the champion, especially for new CoPs) a Community of Practice aimed at developing skills associated with the practice, setting guardrails for the practice, and so on.
- Attend (spot) ceremonies - demonstrations, planning, dailies, etc and team retrospectives (by invitation.)
- Setup / make available training. This could be for a particular individual, or as a result of a need that the train has for common knowledge say in the IP iteration.
In the end, this is about proactively setting up feedback loops. As a Development Manager you cannot be everywhere all the time. Like anything else that is capacity limited, this means you have to prioritize your work to “what is important”. To be comfortable with this approach you have to be trust that when something important arises, you will be notified in time to be able to work the issue. This means there is a continuous flow of feedback.
Note that responsibility for career development, ranking etc. is not just something Development Managers have to do. Like most commitments, there is a two-way commitment between the Development Manager and the person being supervised:
- Development Manager has a responsibility to reach out and find out what is going on with the people she is supervising.
- The Supervised has a responsibility to reach out to the Development Manager to help that person be effective.