What Is the Opportunity Cost of Misaligned or Underperforming Engineers?

What Is the Opportunity Cost of Misaligned or Underperforming Engineers

By: Erik Birkfeld

November 9, 2020

What Is the Opportunity Cost of Misaligned or Underperforming Engineers graphic

Contrary to popular belief, the software development life cycle doesn’t just depend on the talent and expertise of engineers and developers working on it. You also need your engineering resources to be aligned and on top of their performance to have a well-run development cycle. However, many organizations operate far from this ideal working scenario because their information system teams consist of misaligned and underperforming engineers and developers.

What is the opportunity cost of having such engineering and development resources at your disposal, and how it can affect software development machinery? We will try to answer this in the following discussion. We all also shed light on improving your resourcing and making your development cycle efficient to keep both employees and clients happy.

The Impact of Developer Skills Misaligned with Project Roadmap 

It is essential to understand that having a talented engineer or developer with an expanded skill set is of no use if their abilities are not mapped in line with the project roadmap. You may not detect this incoherence at the onset that can significantly hurt you in the long run.

The following are some of the consequences of having developers working on projects without having their skills mapped and aligned with the project’s roadmap.

When developer skills are not entirely in sync with the project roadmap, they can make arbitrary and often erroneous estimations of the development cycle’s time and scope.

The other problem that happens when developer skills are not fully mapped as per the project roadmap is they tend to focus more on solutions instead of problems. Hence, they are more stressed over offering solutions with the end product instead of looking back and referring to the core problem for which a particular software product is commissioned in the first place.

Misaligned engineers not synchronized with the project roadmap often try to please managers and team leads with their work. Such efforts often result in a product that is not in line with the client’s requirements. Again, if developers’ skills were mapped precisely to the project roadmap, this won’t happen.

The Cost and Consequences of Having Unhappy and Dissatisfied Engineers and Developers

Theoretically speaking, a contingent of unhappy and disgruntled engineers and developers can bring an organization to a screeching halt. Even practically, the consequences of supervising and managing engineers and developers who are not happy in their positions can be quite damaging. 
The following pointers will try to capture the cost and consequences of employing despondent and dissatisfied engineers and developers.

You will find it difficult to meet deadlines with clients. An unhappy software developer only does the bare minimum, which is not enough when you promise quicker turnaround and swift back and forth on deliverables. In the long run, those discontented engineers doing the bare minimum will increase your client attrition.

Another consequence of working with a team of unhappy developers is you don’t get to hear their feedback and suggestions on the project on hand. They are less likely to talk about the back-end woes of coding or the client’s unrealistic agility expectation. In the absence of this feedback and internal correspondence, it becomes harder for project leads and chief engineers to balance employee and client satisfaction.

Unhappy and frustrated engineers and developers seldom spread any good thing about their organization. Instead, many of them will criticize the organization on social media and professional networking platforms. Also, they will never recommend a friend or acquaintance to join their organization. As a result of this entire bad PR, the organization will struggle to recruit the best professionals from the available talent pool.

Ensuring the Proper Resourcing Is the Key

How you do your resource planning also eventually impacts the happiness/unhappiness of your engineers’ team. It is imperative to understand that this resource planning is not just limited to any single particular area. Everything is included in ensuring sufficient resourcing to set up the right team for software development, from humans to equipment and time. You can use these metrics to ensure proper resourcing is occurring within the organization

Time Resourcing

Time Resourcing 

 The hours it takes to complete a specific task.
 Are there any upcoming milestones?
 When is the deadline?
 Are there any holidays that might inevitably slow down or stall the project?
 How much “time cushion” should be left for every task or dependency?

Human Resourcing

Human Resourcing 

 Who is in charge of which task?
 Are they full-time developers, freelancers, or contractors?
 Do they have specific needs to help them do their job properly?
 Is the workload manageable?

Equipment Resourcing

Equipment Resourcing 

✓ Which equipment should be bought or rented, which can be reused for other projects?
 What’s the most useful piece of equipment for a successful project?
 What about subscription plans, apps, software, etc.
 Is the given use of equipment ethical and in line with organizational and employees’ value?

The Role of Delivery Methodology in the Developmental Efficiency     

What delivery methodology you have implemented in your organization will also determine your development team’s efficiency and satisfaction index. In the last couple of decades, multiple delivery methodologies for software development have been formulated, and they can have different implications in different circumstances.

For instance, the waterfall model is a well-established delivery methodology in the software industry. It is excellent for managing small projects with its highly structured phases, with each stage having particular deliverables. However, its inflexibility is not suitable for complex projects with non-linear deliverables. Using the waterfall methodology for such projects won’t just hit your development efficiency but will also frustrate your development team and client.

On the other hand, you have an agile method of delivery. It is great for delivering complex projects because it doesn’t rely on a single large developers’ team and rather operates with self-relying small groups. However, agile delivery can affect developmental efficiency because teams are prone to get sidetracked due to a lack of process. It can also decrease developers’ developmental efficiency and dissatisfaction on long-term projects with its intrinsic nature of incremental delivery.

In short, you have to choose the delivery methodology in line with the project at hand instead of making one method standard across the organization. This flexible approach will keep your developmental efficiency intact, and your engineers and developers happy.

Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn for news, updates, and discussions with industry professionals: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sonatafy and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonatafytechnology

RELATED ARTICLES

Book A Meeting