Your First Week as a Software Development Manager

Posted by mikeberry | Agile Executives,Leadership,SDLC Management | Wednesday 27 February 2008 7:45 pm

Wether you are starting a new job, or you just got promoted, the first week as a Software Development Manger, VP, Director, etc, can be a dizzying experience.

Depending on your particular situation, you’ll likely have to meet many new people, learn about new systems, and remember to smile often.

A good starting point is the be sure the following items are in place:

  1. Make a contact list of everyone in your department, your peers, you manager.  Include their desk phones, mobile phones, and email addresses.  Keep this list updated.  You will use it for a long time.
  2. Find or Create the ‘Development Procedures Manual.’  Include in it the following:
    1. Corporate Mission/Vision Statement & Values
    2. Department Mission/Vision Statement & Values
    3. New Employee Hire checklist
    4. Development Workstation Setup checklist
    5. Software Development Procedures
    6. Coding Standards
    7. VPN Setup Instructions
    8. Weekly Meeting Schedules
  3. Create a ‘Development Managers Log’ containing the following:
    1. Employee Time Off Log
    2. Observed holiday list
    3. 3rd Party Software Licensing information
    4. Historical Release Log
  4. Be sure you have a source code repository
  5. Be sure you have an issue tracking system
  6. Review/Create the Disaster Recovery plan for all of your critical systems:
    1. Source Code Repository
    2. 3rd Party Code libraries
    3. Issue Tracking System & DB
  7. Make a ‘projects list’ containing an ever-updating list of projects and their status.
  8. Have a ‘welcome meeting’ with the group you oversee to tell them something about you.  Whomever interviewed you knows about you, but chances are the group you are now managing doesn’t.  Tell them your past work history, your management style, communication plan, and something fun and personable about yourself.
  9. Ask your group what would make their jobs more rewarding.  Ask this question a lot at first because they won’t believe you mean it until you have asked the question many times.

Good Luck!  You’re off to a good start!

Mike J. Berry

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