Set Your Emotions Aside
Low-quality deliverables are frustrating. However, you don’t want to let your emotions leak into the conversation, as that may make the developer less receptive to your constructive criticism.
Instead, take a moment to understand your feelings and then let them go. This will ensure you don’t say anything hostile or that you might regret later.
Don’t Assume That It’s Malicious
While it is easy to assume that a developer who is turning in sloppy work has malicious intent, that isn’t always the case. There are other reasons why the quality of their deliverables is subpar, so try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
For example, maybe they don’t have access to the right tools or information. It is also possible that incredibly tight deadlines caused them to rush or that you are asking the developer to handle tasks that are far beyond their actual capabilities.
Schedule a Meeting ASAP
When you give constructive criticism, you want to handle it as soon as possible. The faster you address the problem, the quicker it can be fixed, so speed is of the essence.
However, it is also a discussion that should be held in private. Schedule a closed-door meeting with the developer to address your concerns, ensuring they aren’t put on the spot in front of their colleagues.
Remain Professional and Open
Once the meeting begins, you want to remain professional and receptive to the developer’s input. Start by asking them to describe how they feel about their performance, ideally referring to a specific project where they turned in subpar work. If the quality of their work has declined, then you can also say that you’ve noticed there has been a change and ask if there was something different about this project that hindered their ability to perform up to their usual standard.
If the developer responds, actively listen to what they have to say. Pay close attention as they explain and try to show a genuine interest in their reply. This may allow you to find out what has happened, giving you insights that can lead to a better long-term corrective plan.
If the developer doesn’t know why they aren’t meeting expectations or don’t see an issue with their work quality, provide them with some relevant examples of times they fell short. Discuss what wasn’t up to par about their outputs and how others were affected by the quality of their work.
Create a Long-Term Plan
After addressing the source of your concern, work with the developer to create a plan for improvement. Clarify your expectations and then weigh in on potential solutions. Then, get the developers input and see if you can find an agreeable approach that will lead to higher quality results.
Once the plan is in place, schedule regular check-ins to monitor the developer’s progress. That way, you can make sure they are taking active steps forward, offer guidance when needed, or take further corrective action should the situation require you to intervene.
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By following the tips above, you can address a developer’s sloppy work in a professional manner. If you’d like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.