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Under-Utilised: How Disengaged Developers Affect Project Outcomes

Corey Fraser
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Jun 9
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There exists a key problem encountered by good developers in our industry:

They are often overqualified for the type of work they are doing, leading them to very quickly become bored, disengaged and ultimately unproductive.

Being forced to undergo mundane and routine tasks only accelerates this process further.

Formally, everything may seem fine: these developers are performing their tasks sufficiently and the team is on schedule to meet their deadlines.

But are they fully engaged? Motivated? Reaching their full potential?

Results may be good, but how much room is there for improvement?

The Problem

It is highly likely that these overqualified and under-utilised developers are simply not producing the results they could be, if only they were given challenges that met their skill level.

It’s also likely they understand that their trajectory in the company they work for has been pre-determined, leaving little rooms for growth, experimentation and challenging themselves.

While they routinely receive praise, get promoted and enjoy positive feedback from managers and colleagues, they will eventually become demoralised and inefficient, which ultimately affects project outcomes and greater team morale.

The Old Solution

Until now, a common solution that team leaders and hiring managers in our industry employed was to fill open positions with candidates who were slightly under-skilled, thus affording them some room for personal and professional growth.

This would serve to temporarily alleviate the issue of developers feeling as if they are not being sufficiently challenged.

However, we find this to be only a temporary solution.

Soon enough, these exceptional developers will meet the lofty heights set for them by their managers, and seek out new challenges. If these challenges are not continually available to them, they will begin to experience the phenomenon described in ‘The Problem.’

So how do we keep these talented and driven professionals from becoming bored and disengaged?

Our Solution

Simple: build an effective, dynamic and ever-evolving team, and allow the individuals within that team to pursue their own professional growth and development within the project they work on.

Allow them to set their own challenges, where their own ambition is not hampered by a micro-managing and over-zealous leadership.

And finally, if a particular developer truly feels as if their utility on a particular project has been expended, they would preferably be allowed to move onto a new, higher-level project.

Building A Dynamic, High-Achieving Team

When we partner up with other developers, to assist them on their own internal projects, they have the option to hand-select members of our development staff to assist them wherever they see fit.

They have complete control over how they wish to utilise the resources we offer them.

By encouraging a dynamic and ever-evolving approach to game development, the teams we work with generally experience two main benefits:

1. With a flatter organisational structure – along with the lack of micro-management and stringent team structure – they enjoy a significantly more efficient process.

2. With more freedom and autonomy, the individual developers in the team are constantly engaged, challenged and trying new things, leading to a far better end product.

In Conclusion

Employees in all industries – but especially game developers – work optimally when they are given access to challenges that suit their skill levels and experience.

Keep them engaged and always striving to be better, and you’ll experience outcomes you never even thought possible. 

Are you looking for assistance with your next mobile software or game development project?

We welcome you to get in touch!

Enjoy your pick from the world’s best designers, programmers and developers, and watch your team’s productivity and project outcomes reach new heights.

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