Giving your remote team feedback
Why providing feedback to developers is important
Why feedback is important is discussed in detail here. Here’s an overview:
1. Feedback leads to improvement
2. Huge impact in the long term
3. Coaching is often a fairly simple task
4. Staff need to know how they perform
5. There should be a clear incentive to perform
6. Seniors need to know how staff performs
7. Transparent feedback allows for big-picture quality assurance
9. Clarity in case of outplacement
Types of feedback
Functionality – Bug-free, user-friendly and smart features
Can we develop features in a more user-friendly way? Could we have proposed features that would have added more value to you and the end-users of your application? Has there been any major bugs that caused you to lose a lot of time, money or end customer confidence?
This example feedback is related to our in-house applicant tracking system (recruitment system).
Example #1: Try to make the system more user-friendly. Especially those processes which are used often. For example, when creating and inviting a candidate to an online test, you can better automate the process. Right now we first have to set a date, select a coding test, manually copy-paste the link/date/time into the email template. Instead, the system can select the most frequently used coding test as the default option, the date can default to today’s date and when clicking create test the link/date/time can be automatically inserted into the email template. This will make the process a lot easier; in an ideal case the recruiter then only has to click “create test” and then “send email” saving 15+ clicks for every single candidate.
Example #2: Would be great if you can come up with more ideas for big smart features. We have for example requested features such as automatic import of CVs from Monster, mass mail candidates, allow candidates to schedule an online test and to take an online test themselves. These have saved the recruiting team a lot of time and allowed us to hire better candidates faster.
How can we make your experience of LiteBreeze better? Do we respond fast, respond clearly, respond politely, give you frequent updates on what we’re going to do and what we’ve done, inform you of deadlines and keep them? See the appendix below for more ideas on service quality feedback.
Example: A report of what’s done and what you plan to do next day/week was not always sent. For example 3 and 4 February: BASECAMP-URL.
Value maximization – Saving your time
- Do we save you time and independently help you push things forward?
- Do we follow your instructions to the point?
- Do we do our own research and provide our own suggestions instead of asking your?
- Do we coordinate well with third parties without requiring your action at every step?
- Do we double check our deliverables before asking you to go through our work?
Example: My instructions were very clear in this case, however you forgot step 5 and 6: BASECAMP-URL
Please take a few extra minutes to carefully re-check instructions before reporting it to me.
Time entry reporting
Is it clear how time has been spent? Are you concerned about productivity for any specific day or feature? You can review time entries and the time overview in the client portal (http://clients.litebreeze.com).
Example: 150 hours were spent in January. 40 hours are booked on FeatureX. It would be good if you can break this down to make the time overview more fine-grained and easier to understand.
We understand that you would only be able to answer this if you have a technical person in your company. Feel free to comment inline in the Bitbucket GIT repositories. Do you feel that we can improve code quality overall? Is code refactored, neatly structured, fast, secure and well-commented in your opinion?
Guidelines and suggestions
Please try to give specific examples so that our management can accurately grasp the situation. You can paste in a link to a specific basecamp comment, a screenshot, chat transcript, email etc.
Please try to bring up the highest impact examples that you can think of; feedback that have the most effect on value-creation. Simple feedback that can be applied to many frequently recurring situations can also have a high impact through its cumulative potential.
Feedback can be posted in a separate feedback thread on Basecamp making it easily accessible for management and easy to refer back to at a later stage. You could also email the feedback to any member of management such as the project director or managing director.
To be sure that your functionality-related feedback indeed is high-impact, it can make sense to wait a bit before deciding on what feedback to give. You can, for example, note down suitable bugs and user-friendliness issues continuously and decide on the clearest examples just before sending your periodic feedback. There might have been 20 issues of various severity in a project during a three month period, but only the top two might be sent as feedback.
Discussing the feedback with the developers in a webcam meeting can give it a more positive touch and make it more constructive.
Learn more in our internal coaching guidelines that our senior project leaders follow.
Service quality questionnaire
To serve as inspiration for coming up with service quality feedback.
|1. You are thorough in your approach to your work.||16. You don’t wait for me to initiate everything – you anticipate.|
|2. You show creativity in your proposed solutions.||17. You don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.|
|3. You are helpful in redefining our view of our situation.||18. You involve us at major points in the engagement.|
|4. You are helpful in diagnosing the causes of our problem areas.||19. You have a good understanding of our business.|
|5. Your people are accessible.||20. You make it your business to understand our company.|
|6. You keep your promises on deadlines.||21. You are up to date on what’s going on in our world.|
|7. You document your work activities well.||22. You make us feel as if we’re important to you.|
|8. Your communications are free of jargon.||23. You are an easy firm to do business with.|
|9. You offer fast turnaround when requested.||24. You deal with problems in our relationship openly and quickly.|
|10. You listen well to what we have to say.||25. You keep us informed on technical issues affecting our business.|
|11. You relate well to our people.||26. You show an interest in us beyond the specifics of your tasks.|
|12. You keep me sufficiently informed on progress.||27. You have been helpful to me beyond the specifics of your projects.|
|13. You let us know in advance what you’re going to do.||28. You have made our people more effective at what they do.|
|14. You notify us promptly of changes in scope, and seek our approval.||29. My own understanding of your area has improved from working with you.|
|15. You give good explanations of what you’ve done and why.||30. Overall, I would rate your service very highly.|