Discussion on: If you ever have to lead a remote dev team...

rsedykh profile image
Roman Sedykh Author

Through transparency. It's a sketchy subject though... If there is such a problem, that a person is the soul of the team (that everybody will be really pissed of to see him gone) but doesn't deliver, there is an algorithm that I hope you'll never have to execute.

  • Create an environment, where each developer self-assigns tasks for the iteration, starting from the non-delivering guy.
  • By the end of the iteration, everybody should demo what they've done. He probably won't achieve anything.
  • Soon everybody will see that he doesn't deliver anything.
  • Even if this person was a very funny and pleasant guy, everybody will see how he performs and let him go.

It's better to act quickly. Last time I saw it, it was 6 months later than it should be done. :-( Very important update was postponed and paused because of it.

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cubiclebuddha profile image
Cubicle Buddha

I normally like to foster a team environment, but yea there aren't a lot of options available to you when someone is struggling. I do think transparency is best, as you mention. And if you can give the troubled person a heads up that you're concerned for them, that probably helps to make the whole thing easier for everyone. I find that when I speak to someone and let them know that I care about what they're going through, I can often figure out why their performance is low and work with that person. On a few occasions I've been lucky enough to learn that their low performance was related to a process that was really bugging them (so we changed it), or a life issue (so we gave them time), or a lack of excitement (so we gave them stretch goals). But sometimes, yea... it's just someone who might be happier at another job.

But wow. What a tough subject. This is probably the hardest thing someone can deal with. It's not easy on the team, the manager, or the person in question.

Thank you for responding.

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rsedykh profile image
Roman Sedykh Author

It’s like breaking up. First, you try to fix your relationships (as you described above). But if it doesn’t help — you have to make the thought decision. :-(

The only difference is that firing somebody from the team is like breaking up in a polyamory group — so many interests should be balanced.