Although each company or development team will have their specific requirements and duties, there are several universal concepts you should know when you are the leader of a ColdFusion development project.
Being a project leader has its challenges, but some important components can help you be more productive, meet your deadlines, and develop a superior application.
Knowing the difference between “managing” and “being a leader” will take you far, but there are many things to consider to make sure you and your team do your best work.
Before we get into the components, we should talk about what kind of team you should have.
Should the Team Be a Democracy?
Many people love democracy, but often it comes down to a popularity contest.
I would then suggest a meritocracy. In a meritocracy, the people who succeed are the ones who have achieved something and deserved it. In politics, many are starting to see the benefit of a meritocracy, and I think you would agree that in teams of developers it makes the most sense.
In the article, “Meritocracy: The Workplace Culture That Breeds Success,” is has this to say:
“In a meritocracy, everyone has the right to express their opinions and are encouraged to share them openly and often. Those opinions are listened to and decisions are then made based on those that are deemed the best.”
You can see in the new workplace of today, with diversity in the forefront of our minds, that a meritocracy is a great ideal by which to lead.
8 Important Components for a Leader of a ColdFusion Development Project
When leading a team, there is much to keep in mind. To be a great leader, remember these eight things:
- Don’t Manage, Lead! – They say the best managers lead, not manage. A great leader doesn’t point in the right direction; she\he leads the team there. A great leader leads by example, and doesn’t say, “Do as I say, not as I do!” Be active, share a clear vision for your team and show your team the path to greatness.
- Focus your team’s energy, talent, and creativity to achieve your business objectives – As a leader, you should be focusing on a very high level. Everything you do should be done to move forward. You must get the attention of your team and use their skills and talents wisely. You should be open-minded and willing to listen to all ideas. Foster creativity!
- Keep an open mind but enforce rigid technical guidelines – You know that to build a superior application, rigid guidelines and procedures must be followed. Keep an open mind, but don’t lose sight of your objectives.
- Delegate – Leaders don’t try to do everything on their own but rely on the team to do their jobs. Many may even accept more responsibility, and this would be an excellent opportunity to delegate some of your duties to one of these next great leaders!
- Grow your team with cross-training – Training your team to be functional in all positions within the team not only gives you more freedom to delegate but allows your team to know what everyone else is doing. Knowing the whole picture will help them do their duties even better.
- Be a proactive leader, not reactive – Being proactive keeps the team agile. Preparing for what could happen will keep you from constantly putting out fires and reacting to every issue that will arise.
- Get to know your team and what it will take for them to do their best work – Staying aloof is not a sign of a good leader. You must get in the trenches with your team and get to know what will help them perform at their best. Finding out what they are good at and what makes them accomplish their best, then acting on it, will go a long way to keeping your team happy.
- Celebrate the finish – When a project is complete, celebrate your success. Don’t just tell your team that they did well, tell them what they did well and why. There are few better motivators than a job well done! Here is what some great leaders had to say:
- “The Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins” – Paul Silitsky
- “Leadership Secret Five: Honor Success and Celebrate Victory” – Tony Robbins
- “Celebrate Success” – Laura Huckabee-Jenkins – Huffington Post
There are many other components to be a great leader, and I suggest you research further if you are interested in being the best that you can be. Here are a few places to get you started:
- “10 Unique Perspectives on What Makes a Great Leader” – Forbes.com
- “The 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Leader” – Inc.com
- “22 Qualities that Make a Great Leader” – Entrepreneur.com
To have a team that is excellent, you must live and breathe excellence. Stay motivated and do everything with greatness in mind.
You Are Not the Only Superstar
If you are a leader, there is no doubt that you were probably a superstar in another team at one time. What you must remember that now is when you are cultivating the next group of superstars, and you should remember what you did and how you felt during your time. Think of what motivated you to be the best and do the same for your team.
These superstars will be the next leaders. It’s a wonderful cycle!
And to continue learning how to make your ColdFusion apps more modern and alive, I encourage you to download our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.
Because… perhaps you are responsible for a mission-critical or revenue-generating CF application that you don’t trust 100%, where implementing new features is a painful ad-hoc process with slow turnaround even for simple requests.
What if you have no contingency plan for a sudden developer departure or a server outage? Perhaps every time a new freelancer works on your site, something breaks. Or your application availability, security, and reliability are poor.
And if you are depending on ColdFusion for your job, then you can’t afford to let your CF development methods die on the vine.
You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be OK using the same old app creation ways in that one language — forever.
All it would take is for your fellow CF developer to quit or for your CIO to decide to leave the (falsely) perceived sinking ship of CFML and you could lose everything—your project, your hard-won CF skills, and possibly even your job.
Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take now to protect yourself from these obvious risks.
No Brainer ColdFusion Best Practices to Ensure You Thrive No Matter What Happens Next
Modern ColdFusion development best practices that reduce stress, inefficiency, project lifecycle costs while simultaneously increasing project velocity and innovation.
√ Easily create a consistent server architecture across development, testing, and production
√ A modern test environment to prevent bugs from spreading
√ Automated continuous integration tools that work well with CF
√ A portable development environment baked into your codebase… for free!
Learn about these and many more strategies in our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.
We’ve covered quite a bit of ground in this article, but there is always more to learn. Never lose sight of the business objectives and strive to make your team happy and productive.
Being “in charge” is a wonderful thing, but never forget that you must lead your team to greatness. You can just sit back and hope the job gets done. Be proactive and motivate your people to do their best in everything.
Always remember you are a superstar!