In an earlier article, we discussed a recent GitHub survey of developers which found that the best way to keep developers happy and productive is to minimize interruptions to their flow. Developer flow is the state in which they are able to fully focus on their work and get things done, without distractions and interruptions.
One major cause of interruptions is requests for status updates from various stakeholders. By using agile scrum methodology, we run effective, efficient scrum calls that give every stakeholder a clear picture of the project status and commitments for delivery.
Other than project status, a major cause for interruptions to developer flow is feedback. When a stakeholder – the UI/UX designer, the project manager or the client – identifies an improvement, or a change they feel is important, or an error to be corrected, their instinct is to pick up the phone and either convey the feedback over a call, or set up a meeting during which they can explain the corrections face to face.
Keeping stakeholders informed
We find it efficient to keep all stakeholders in the loop through a live preview environment that’s shareable and independent from our staging environment, for regular feedback and review. By creating such an environment (or using an existing open source option) you keep everyone informed and reduce sudden shocks. Shock can result in stakeholders feeling that they have to immediately call, or set a meeting, instead of waiting for the next day’s scrum call – thus increasing interruptions.
Carrying out feedback asynchronously, in-context
Asynchronous execution of feedback is when the developer executes feedback at a time convenient to him/her. Stakeholders share inputs at their convenience, to be carried out later.
To the extent possible, major feedback should be shared during the scrum meeting, even from stakeholders who do not participate in the standup, such as designers. These stakeholders can share their major feedback with the scrum master, who can take it up offline with the developer and mention it as part of the scrum call as well.
Minor feedback is often shared asynchronously by email or via personal text messaging app. Rather than do this, tools are available using which feedback can be shared within the source code management environment itself. Using collaboration tools like Figma, Adobe XD, Notion etc. scrum teams can provide contextual feedback and thus contextual collaboration. Any user is just one click away from sharing feedback while remaining in context, increasing the potential for frictionless sharing of feedback.
Stakeholders can share feedback within the software that the developer is using. By viewing whatever it is that requires attention, within the same software, the developer need not exit their main work environment to address the new task. In addition, since the change is marked within the full context of the overall project, the feedback is usually instantly and intuitively understandable by the developer. This doesn’t just reduce interaction and interruption; it also improves productivity.
At CloudNow, we prioritize happy, productive days for our developers – which gives the best results for everyone from developer to client. That’s why we believe that minimizing interruptions caused by sharing and carrying out feedback is so important.
By using agile scrum methodology and the right cloud collaboration tools and technology, we are able to smoothly and efficiently receive inputs and carry out feedback without breaking developer flow. This allows us to deliver great products quicker. Contact us today to get started on your next tech development!