Developer Daily Reports/Weekly Meetings

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by loon3y, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. loon3y macrumors 65816

    loon3y

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #1
    This may be a little off topic but it involved with programming, but can daily reports decrease productivity?


    We have a Chennai office (India), I have mentioned my difficulties here before. Since a senior employee left, I have less and less time with our developer overseas and have to spend more time with our clients.

    I cannot allow them to just work on their own. Things never get on time, its hard to hit deadlines for our clients, and we develop on multiple platforms thats all driven from our main system and database (Xcode, .NET, PowerBuilder, Android Studio, etc, etc) so there many projects and tasks I need to see the progress of.

    I did emphasize was communication, now they communicate frequently with one another, but then they ask one another for too much help and they don't get their own tasks done.

    (One developer was spending 2 HOURS with another and constantly kept calling him afterwards. What upset me was this developer was contracted to one client while there other guy that was helping him was handling tasks for our main source code which is responsible for ALL of our clients. It seemed like he took it the wrong way, but I can't expect guys here to get the bigger picture)


    This caused us to miss deadlines, and when we miss deadlines there can be multiple clients waiting for this module or feature, or LOSE MONEY because it was an EDI and/or E-Commerce API/Mapping issue.


    I'm thinking of having them submit their daily reports with some sort of format and have our office manager/administrator (Who should be really the one doing this) get the reports and consolidate them for me. This also lets her have an idea what I need to know and have her learn to better manage our developers herself. Also to know where we are with projects' progress so I don't have to either stay up and constantly ask or wait a whole day for an answer.

    I want to implement where it shows me

    1. What are you working on
    2. Is there any issues
    3. Can the deadline be met, if not what is the expected deadline.



    Also outside of 15 min 2-3 man meetings once or twice a day. I was thinking about having a Developer's meeting every Wednesday & Friday 11AM for 30mins- 1 Hour (I know 1 hour is sometimes pushing it) to discuss if they need any help or have any issues on the main system and/or database side (apps, websites all draw data from the DB).



    I just want to know any suggestions, advice, and experiences that anyone here can share. So I can better manage my staff and get at least 6 hours of sleep without staying up all night following up when I'm back home. Its difficult at the same time because here, they never tend to say 'No we cannot hit the deadline by that date' and always say 'Yes'.
     
  2. PhoneyDeveloper macrumors 68030

    PhoneyDeveloper

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    #2
    they never tend to say 'No we cannot hit the deadline by that date' and always say 'Yes'.

    This is a well known problem when working with India teams. If you figure out a solution you'll be a millionaire. They have a high respect for authority and will always say Yes. In fact they'll probably work hard to make such a deadline, but they'll cut corners leading to low quality.

    Anyway, sitting on people to make sure they meet deadlines doesn't usually work. If you asked me every day 'Can the deadline be met?" I'd probably quit.

    Break down the work into relatively small sets of tasks. Things that will take a week or less to complete. Ask the developers during planning to tell you how long things should take. You can get daily status reports but they don't have to be a phone meeting. I use Slack and similar tools to report status. The online reports are usually a couple sentences. You can ask for more details if you need them. Status meetings should only take 15 mins/day.
     
  3. loon3y thread starter macrumors 65816

    loon3y

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #3

    Thanks for always giving an insight on my posts, it really does help and I appreciate it greatly.


    Decided to go with google forms, very simple and every response will be in a master spreadsheet.


    I wouldn't micro-manage outside of here, they just don't know the importance of meeting deadlines. So that our clients are just left in the wind or I don't look careless or dumb because I can't give them an answer.
     
  4. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    #4
    Look into implementing scrum...or some other Agile methodology.
     
  5. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I worked for one place and they added 2 main things.
    1. they had a "go between" person that would distribute the work
    2. they started having us fill out worksheets where we accounted for what we worked on every 15min slot.

    The go between person had no clue who had what skill, and it became political very quickly.

    The worksheets made me want to quit more than the go between person.

    They didn't really have a manager and most people have no clue how to manage people. I've had tons of managers over the years and it's very hard to think of one that was actually good. Most are just there to grind your nose to the wheel like you're a slave.

    You need a manager that is a leader, not a boss. There's a huge difference. A leader will focus on getting the most out of the programmers by removing any problems. Just as a real programmer will solve problems inside of the code, the manager fixes problems that the programmer has in getting their job done.

    I'll give you one specific example. We installed new servers, every programmer wrote their own code to log into the server. There was zero shared code for many projects.

    Another shop I worked at had zero documentation for the client's code. Every client was different, and we had no way to know what has changed for a given client.

    What you need to do is a system analysis on your own system. It's like a mechanic fixing his own car.

    I would look at a solution for communication and find the subject for each communication, use that to start building your own database of solutions. Develop an app (maybe mobile, maybe OSX) that has people popup a search of the topics.

    Start matching up skills. Have a database of all people and their skills. In the cross ref of the database have their skills match to the topic. This would let you know who is the "go to" person for a given problem.

    Productivity, don't focus on number of programmers on a project, I've gotten some awesome work done when working as a team of two. That's not to say it's always good, but some people really do work well in a very small team (2 to 4).

    If you're working on a bunch of different projects, you really have a different system to manage. I did this for many years. I'd jump from project to project all the time. This is very, different than what most tools are designed for. It's not like you have 3 or 4 large internal project and you only work with those.

    Example, some companies have 1 or 2 primary projects that they work on. I worked on a dozen or more through out the week.

    This is project management for projects. You need to keep track of what's going on in any given project. This is not so easy as the projects can be very different from each other. I used to have note pads that I would update for each project, now that would probably be digital and shared in the knowledge base system.

    You can even have some of the employees work as mods for this. We used to have a lead that would control everything from source to helping anyone that is stuck.

    It's a different way to manage things, but most people are very poor managers.

    Most companies see management as a promotion not a profession. Management is a science, I've got a BS degree in it.
     

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