Teams · Team Building

What are/were your biggest difficulties managing a tech startup team?

Carolina Fonseca Team Performance for Tech Startups

April 14th, 2016

From people working at different paces, to seeing things differently or missing deadlines, what have been your biggest struggles in managing a tech startup team?
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Bill Lennan Red Rope Social - everyone is an influencer.

April 14th, 2016

Is "all the above" an option?
Missing deadlines is a result of any/all the others. 
The two biggest issues have been:
over designed MVP - when someone insists the product isn't viable unless it supports IE6 
trying to pleas a whale - single prospect/customer who's needs aren't a match for the rest of the market
I'm a big fan of the lean approach and always validating assumptions with the target customers

Mauricio Cardenas Consulting & Coaching Director at LIM Latam, Leadership in Motion

April 14th, 2016

As a team coach for tech startups I've found that some of the main challenges include: (1) team members' lack of alignment around strategic decisions, (2) conflicting personal lifecycles, needs and wants, and (3) limited financial/sales expertise. 

Pulkit Chaudhary Senior Software Engineer/Architect at Leado

April 18th, 2016

Trying to do things the right way. This is the major one. As developers, we try to do things the right way, but in a startup, there are other product requirements to take care of. There is a need to reach to MVP as soon as possible and trying to do things the right way takes up a lot of time. There has to be a compromise somewhere. We have started keeping a scroll of the technical debt we are taking while sprinting to our MVP.

Other difficulties are the ones you have specified.

Betsy Ehrenberg

April 17th, 2016

Written job descriptions were my greatest challenge in both technical and non-profit startups. We wished we had asked each team member to document the ways they would help the company grow. If after our reading and review it became obvious that expectations and responsibilities were not on the same page, then discussion was needed immediately. Before reading each team member's document, as the founder, I wish I had written notes about each team member and known that it was important to document skills, tasks and goals that would be independent of individual assignments. For example, lead tech is only a title. Did the person need to document and review specifications and get agreement before design and definitely before writing a line of code? Did the person know the user, user profile and user skill sets? How did the job (lead tech) fit into the assembled team? When team members are smart, creative and interactive with others on the team, it does not mean that they are a team player on your team.

Nishith Gupta

April 19th, 2016

Basis my experience, top 3 challenges are -
a. Alignment of tech team with why? - tech easily understands the what to do and they obviously know how to do. but unless why can be synced, it is always back and forth

b. sometimes in agile development, the changes has to be reworked which cause lot of resistance from tech team and that sometimes shows in the output.

c. estimations - have not seen this come true even after multiple releases. tech team generally considers the actual coding effort but always forgets the bug fixing or any other efforts.