Motivating developers to increase ROI


Imagine developers being force fed a consistent sense of urgency and anxiety aimed to persuade them to work harder, longer hours and produce more, more, more. All this to benefit a profit fixated corporation which is obsessively refocusing itself to the bottom line.

The consequence is a team of unsatisfied developers followed by high turnover and a related cost of rehiring, training and knowledge transfer.

Although not intuitive at first, the efficiency of an in-house development team is lost. Eventually as the software product grows, this overhead will eat up any extra profits the in-house model naturally endows. This scenario actually hinders ROI ultimately contributing less to the bottom line.

Software development managers can do better than being “slave-drivers”. There is a more effective way to impact the bottom line by motivating a development team to increase ROI.

Last year Intel published an article outlining the hierarchy of developer motivation. They cite that the majority of developers are motivated when playing a creative role and gain a sense of achievement from the projects they work on.

Hierarchy of developer motivation
Intel cites that the majority of developers are motivated when playing a creative role and gaining a sense of achievement from the projects they work on

Another article by Rob Walling entitled Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money cites that developers want to exercise creativity and have a voice in the priorities of their team.

I won’t cover in this article how to setup a development team to exercise creativity. But it all starts with agile software development and you can read what a manager can do in my article about the manager’s role in agile software development.

Additional resources