There is a stereotype that creativity is required only in product IT. We at Geniusee disagree with this opinion. In outsourcing, teams need no less creative forces, because they create programs that automate specific, sometimes very complex business processes. As a result, something innovative appears that did not exist before. We have created a list of tricks which can help your team unlock their creativity.
7 ways to manage creativity in IT project.
1. Complicate the task.
Adding complexity to a task works well when a team’s creativity is suppressed by a lot of routine tasks.
In practice, this method can be used as follows: when a project requires 1-2 functions from an expensive paid library, you save money for the customer and write it from scratch, and inspiration and self-confidence become a useful “side effect”.
The explanation of why this method works can be found in the book “Stream: Psychology of Optimal Experience” - a highly skilled mind needs a difficult task to unleash all its power.
2. Simplify the task.
This method is appropriate for complex, large-scale projects that can both motivate and at some point even scare the team.
At each stage of the project, the manager must ensure that the task remains complex, but at the same time the developers can handle it. Here visualization, decomposition, and prioritization help.
In a nutshell: you can take colored felt-tip pens and draw the most naive sсheme with squares and circles, trying to depict everything that needs to be done. When a task is drawn on paper with simple connected figures, it stops being scary, and you can already work with each individual figure.
Moreover, depending on the stage of the project, select the most important figure and begin to decompose it further. If there are no obvious priorities, then try to begin with the most understandable.
3. Do not let small worries give your idea a big shadow.
The ability of the developer to generate ideas becomes especially important on projects where the system is created from scratch.
Sooner or later ‘geniuses’ appear on such projects to say: “And now I’ll tell you in which case this will not work.” And one thing leads to another, “What if this? ..”, “What if that? ..” And what if the user behaves this way, and what if the user behaves that way …
Even the analytics guru will never be able to foresee everything that the user is able to unearth when working with the system. When someone begins to destroy an idea, citing non-standard cases as an example, the team leader must stop this. According to our internal statistics, 95% of the scenarios of how users work with the system are simple and predictable. The rest can be automated later if necessary. Or you can provide manual processing of the most complex and low-frequency operations. The main thing is that their probability alone should not stop the generation and implementation of ideas!
4. Do not set a task, set a goal.
In case of setting a goal, it is not necessary to describe how it should be realized.
A great way to enhance creativity is when you need to solve a specific short-term goal. “Here is your goal - go to it. There is no right way; there is one that you come up with. ”
5. Take into account the colleagues’ schedule.
If you want to gather colleagues for group creative work, for example, to brainstorm on a new project, find out what other tasks they have in work now.
Maybe someone is preparing a big delivery. Someone has just finished the release, which they were preparing hard for a couple of weeks. People can be mentally and physically exhausted and temporarily incapable of creativity.
Make sure everyone invited is fit and alert. The state of creativity is a luxury that you have to pay for with quality rest and a 40-hour work week.
6. Go “all the way” with users.
If the team is not immersed in the subject area of the project, they cannot freely create and propose ideas, but will only wait for instructions, external or internal, from the client.
But the client is not an expert in software development, which limits his creative abilities when creating a new system. You can’t wait and hope that the client will learn your technology. But you can cut a deal, expand your horizons and find a source of creative inspiration in its area.
Immersion in a new subject area broadens the horizons, refreshes and aggravates the perception of the world, much as a good bungee jump.
7. Accept ideas with gratitude
This is difficult, because not every idea that your employees bring might be brilliant.
Nevertheless, the leader should encourage any attempt to share the idea and submit it to the internal team review so that people are sure that their thoughts will not go into the sand.
If the idea has passed the test of colleagues, discuss it with the customer. Tell the team how they reacted and whether the idea will go into implementation. This is perhaps the most effective way to support creativity.
It’s more interesting to work in a creative team. Therefore, in Geniusee, we try to be attentive to this. Of course, by no means all the ways of developing creativity have been listed here. There are many others, including very simple techniques that don't require any special skills from the manager, but only their desire and interest. But how the managers can inspire themselves is a separate issue, and next time we will ask them what supports the fire of creativity in them personally.