We all know it’s not easy doing everything yourself, and sometimes you just need a little help. You might need a designer, another developer, or even just another pair of eyes to weigh in on what you’ve created. There’s nothing wrong with bringing on new team members, but before you agree to work with someone else in a business capacity, there are a few things to consider.
Make sure everyone is clear on the goals
Every single person on your team, even if there are only two of you, needs to know and buy into your mission statement and project goals. Team members need to know exactly what it is you want them to accomplish. Deliverabes and expectations should be clearly communicated and understood by the team.
Make sure each person knows what his role is
When you enter into a partnership with others, clearly define each member’s role and responsibilities. If someone’s role is to analyze what your users need and want your application to do or if that partner is supposed to develop a plan or design for how the particular application will function, then, by all means, have him do that work. Don’t allow him to spend time doing something else that may take him away from this role on the team.
Also, avoid doing the work you assign to others yourself. Delegate the work and then step back to let team members do what they’re good at. That is, after all, why you hired them, right?
But then be a little flexible with those roles
So, you’re working with a person who was hired to take care of the design plan, but guess what? He’s got killer instinct on how to find solutions to issues with either new or existing software. Acknowledge, embrace, and be open to the possibility that a team member’s role can expand.
Decide how you are going to communicate
Are you going to communicate with your team members by e-mail? Shared documents? Skype? A Google hangout? Are you going to meet at a local coffee shop? Decide how the members on your team are going to communicate and how often. And then it’s up to you to make sure those interactions happen. Clear and consistent communication will help avoid misunderstandings that could lead to trouble.
Acknowledge a job well done
Everyone needs to feel appreciated and loved. If your team partner is doing a good job, then by all means, let him know. A sincere compliment on work well done can make a difference in how your partner works with you and feels about the ultimate final success of your combined project.
Anyone who works with another needs to keep track of things like what the job is, how it’s done, and how long it took. Don’t mistake your partner for being a friend. Make sure that you are keeping measurable information on how he is performing and how he performs against your established goals.
Keeping track of performance not only proves that someone is doing a terrific job, but it can also show when someone is falling behind. It’s not easy to get rid of a partner who is not pulling his weight, but if you can point to objective data, it makes everyone’s job easier.
At the end of the day, a partnership is just that, a partnership. If it didn’t work out, then acknowledge that and either work on fixing the problem or both go your separate ways. However, when a partnership does work out, it’s a powerful thing. Appreciate the good fortune you have and continue to work together as a team to make more and more things happen.
We'd love to hear your tips on entering new partnerships in the comment section below.