The Role of the Development Manager

I remember my grandmother explaining what it was like to teach grade-school.  She said to be a good teacher, you had to be part teacher, part nurse, part referee, part coach, part police officer, part mother, and part collections agent. Fortunately, software development management requires a smaller skill-set.  Software Development Managers really have four areas of responsibility.  These four areas are:

  1. Responsibility to the corporation
  2. Responsibility to the development department
  3. Responsibility to the customer
  4. Responsibility to the product

To the corporation, the development manager owes efficient yield,  predictability of delivery dates, and transparency regarding the health and status of each project. To the team, he owes corporate transparency (what goes on in the executive meetings), clarity of direction, priority of tasks, empowerment, and accountability. To the customer, he owes the highest reasonable product quality, and highest reasonable product relevance. And to the product, he owes the best tools, architectures, and programmers he can find.

Mike J Berry