46

In every point below I aim to provide usable options for "How can I avoid team burnout?" Although there is often no single cause to this, given "extremely burnt out on a project after 150 hours or so.", I would look at all possible areas. Make it a "project" and present it up (mgmt) and down (team) to get both resources and buy-in. I have found that ...


15

To answer the question in a different way, I find that employee motivation varies dramatically from person to person and generational tags have little value. When dealing with younger workers, there are a few common traits, however, and I have had some success with: Explaining the big picture: A lot of younger workers want to be part of something that ...


15

If this is a project that people are currently getting paid to work on: ABSOLUTELY NOT! First of all, the goals on the project should be plain and obvious, and on a software project, those goals can already be complicated. Get thorough designs in on time, get code completed on time with as few defects as possible, incorporate feedback from code reviews, ...


14

Your primary job is to manage expectations. It's your fault to have such high expectations, so negotiate with the client. You may have tight deadlines only if they are connected with external factors (like media promotions, legal regulations, etc.) and not just because the client wants it as soon as possible (the client always wants it as soon as possible). ...


12

I've served as a project manager on several software development teams, and the analogies I like best are these: I'm the sweeper on the curling team. Or: I'm downriver from the team, clearing the big logs that are going to slow down progress. Think about it this way: Software developers bring a set of very specialized skills to the table, and when ...


11

First: A Few Words About Velocity Velocity is most useful as an estimating tool, and as a measure of variance. However, it is often misused as a management goal or external commitment target. Wide variance in velocity is certainly a good reason to inspect the current project, though, and look for flaws in estimation, procedural impediments, process issues, ...


11

The key to motivation is to remove the money from the table. So you have to pay enough so the developers don't think about the money, and then to rely on intrinsic motivators such as recognition, self-development, etc. If you use percentage or even mixed model, you focus people on the money, and not on the product. On the other hand, it's great to share with ...


9

Some common reasons for this may be (one or more of the following): Developers are not fluent enough in the technologies used and they spend time learning on the job, so they have to work more to deliver as expected Lack of good analysis and lots of re-work The customer keeps changing the requirements Unrealistic goals/time set by Project Management or in ...


9

There are really unlimited possibilities for motivation; I will try to conceptualize few of them On the spot admiration: Everyone knows how to admire for a good work but it is actually all about timing. Some words like "thanks","great work" or anything else. Let him know instantly what he has just achieved. Involvement in brainstorming: Involvement in ...


9

Updating is another accounting tasks for people, thus sometimes the attitude you describe pops up. What more, pretty often information that is on the board is duplication of data that is somewhere in this or that app. If the answer to "What's in it for me?" for most of the team is "nothing" don't be surprised. Then it's another "beloved" system like that ...


9

There are already a lot of theories and studies about motivation. Extrinsic motivators, like badges, awards, and money, have been studied and I believe the results show they are marginal at best, do nothing, or maybe even decrease motivation. The strongest motivators are intrinsic and are mastery, purpose, and autonomy. Follow the science....


9

Get the team committed to the business goals In the long run, you should get the team committed to the business goals so much that they voluntarily step up to do what it takes to accomplish them without worrying too much about what their job position is. In the short run, here are some things you can try: Challenge the development team to automate part of ...


9

You've identified a risk, and a possible solution. I'd refrain from considering your solution (more documentation) as "the" solution and ask them to apply it straight away. You're working with a team of experts, which will likely have a different point of view on the matter, so do not expect to be able to "motivate" them into doing what you want... engage ...


8

Sorry, this may hurt a bit - I think the problem is less with your team, and more with your schedule. If I understand correctly, you developed a schedule (presumably with input from those doing the work), and then are asking them to work faster than the agreed upon schedule; in case something comes up (risk management). As the PM, your schedule should ...


8

This sounds less like a GenX/GenY problem to me and more like a maturity level issue. I would be very wary of continuing to invest in someone who constantly threatens to quit. When you threaten to leave an organization, you permanently and radically change your relationship to your employer and colleagues. Employers, and colleagues, may look at you as ...


8

TL;DR Gamification is inherently competitive, which is contrary to the "succeed or fail as a team" concept that underlies many agile methodologies. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea; it just means it's not well-suited for use with frameworks like Scrum or Extreme Programming. Your mileage may vary with other methodologies. Competitive Nature of ...


8

Robert Austin wrote a short, devastating little book, Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, that neatly demonstrates why and how most personal measurement systems are doomed be either at best distortionary or at worse actively dysfunctional. The problem is that you're introducing personal measurement. Under selected circumstances, that can ...


8

You are creating a cause and effect between a lowering morale and motivation with doing certain tasks. My first reaction is you are creating a cause and effect that does not exist. Every job in the world has tasks no one likes, or tasks with which one might feel less competent, or tasks that causes some anxiety or worry. They may not like it but it does ...


7

I think a bonus at the end of the project and perhaps smaller bonuses at major milestones progressing to the finish are reasonable mitigating actions. However, I think your best mitigation to your threats of project delay and quality is to remove your single point of failure. To have this single point of failure where you rely on the heroic efforts of an ...


7

DO be a leader and a coach foster an environment open to collaboration encourage discussion, technical and team focused encourage improvements support them remove organizational impediments (if possible) be a teacher Do NOT be their manager fall into the trap of making commitments for them when asked assign work to them decide HOW something is done take ...


7

Whatever you do, do not micromanage! That is the single worst thing you could do. You will put a lot of stress on them, on yourself, you will kill the potential productivity of the team, and you make yourself the bottleneck on the team. I am not saying your team is a bunch of whiny kids, and I certainly am not saying that they are useless, but my ...


7

I was working with a similar setup and it wasn't that bad at all. We knew what to expect, and somehow we felt that our work has a purpose, because we needed the money at that time. Unfortunately, when one brings up the money based motivation topic up, the other immediately pulls Daniel Pink's book, which is excellent book, but how one interprets is very ...


7

Similar to other answers, they key thing to understand here is that: Money is a motivator, but only up to a certain point. Once people's basic needs are taken care of, money is no longer a major motivator. Other factors (such as esteem and self actualization) become more important progressively. Contrary to some of the other answers, this thinking is not ...


7

TL;DR While Kanban practices can be used successfully for discrete projects, the Kanban framework is best suited to ongoing, queue-based processes. To be used properly in iterative development, you need to implement effective feedback loops for your processes and raise the visibility of your project's input queue. Kanban in Manufacturing Kanban has its ...


7

@Mamoo is right. A new and junior project manager does not have the authority or influence to jump to a solution and ask the team to implement it. Even as a two decade project manager I wouldn't try to impose a solution on the team. As PM you have to help them to find their own solution. To do this you first need to get them to identify the problem. Until ...


7

I'm a manager of a software development team who was a designer. I started with almost no prior knowledge of writing code, other than simple html and CSS. My initial view was that they are the experts in their field and I am an expert in mine. I am just using my PM expertise to help them become more efficient and better organised, so that their skills can ...


6

I would like to provide addidtion support to the David answer, Motivation can never be a entry in Risk management plan and to be dependent on one resource might cost you heavy if that resource left the organization or may be not available due to health reasons. On the other hand, this could be the major threat to the project. As a PM, you can not be careless ...


6

A team leader is a coach and a model for his team. So AFAIK following qualities are most important for team leader, Communication Delecation Negotiation Integrity Confidence Respond immediately to any problem and arrive at a solution before it escalates. Make every team member believe that he belongs to the team. Listen to everybody views and then take ...


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