How to motivate your team keeping writing high quality code
Although everyone agrees that quality is essential to the long-term success of a project, quality policies and best practices are more often than not seen as constraints by the project team.
The team’s involvement is nevertheless essential to the quality of the software; so making your team at least aware of, if not fully involved, in the quality process is therefore a key point.
Defining clear and simple guidelines will allow developers to know precisely what best practices they have to implement, and what freedom they have in the design of the feature. They will be much less frustrated if they are aware of constraints from the start.
Setting specific quality objectives is also important, for instance, the coverage level of unit tests. These objectives should be monitored using KPIs and discussed with the team on a regular basis. As a project manager, with concrete elements such as unit test coverage or the completeness of documentation, you will be able to challenge the team on an objective basis and to show any improvement or deterioration in the code quality.
Thinking of quality as something positive, even fun, is probably the best way to keep your team motivated. Instead of presenting a set of best practices to follow, why not propose a collective challenge with prizes on offer if the challenge is a success?
As a manager, your own behaviour is also highly important. If the way you express quality issues is seen as a constraint, then that’s how your team will perceive them. On the contrary, you should emphasise the importance of code quality during meetings, and praise the developers who deliver code to the highest quality, rather than focusing exclusively on business features or other stakes. This will show how important quality is for you, and thus for your team.