Want to build software products fast? Build, coach and support your people.

Building people is all about getting them up to their highest performance potential. People want to be great, they want to make a difference, they want to build products that customers love. People want to be high performers, and they want to work with other high performers.

It’s your job as a leader to figure out how to get people to perform. The process is about uncovering their desires, what motivates them, what they see for themselves in their future. Once you have that figured out, it’s your job to help them achieve their dreams.

That’s right, it’s all about them, not your project. There are times where the focus is on delivery, but you need to build the foundation of people first.

You need to figure out how to align your organisation’s goals with your team goals and then with an individual’s goals. Aligning goals helps people to make an impact. Their performance now contributes to what others around them care about. Now we have easily measured performance and we have a group of individuals striving to achieve the same goals. Now we have a high performing, cohesive team.

It is certainly possible to deliver a project quickly without building your people. Just don’t expect them to hang around for the next project. If you’re having to rebuild teams at the start of every initiative, you’re going to spend a lot of time replacing people, and then having a team where everyone has to relearn how to work together effectively.

Building a software product is hard. There are lots of unknowns, plenty of challenges in pleasing customers, and then there are the technical problems. Great people who are highly engaged, and high performing will eat problems for breakfast, and then go looking for more. Problems that are solved quickly and efficiently gives you faster delivery.

In the software tech industry, we have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to building people. The best time to learn this was years ago. The next best time is now. Get cracking!