Dino Cajic on Business Leaders vs Software Developers

Business Leaders vs Software Developers: it’s time for the fight of the century. And both sides will lose. I walk a fine line between both teams and both need improvement. When the software development team is left unmonitored, that’s when real issues start to arise.

From the Business Side

A ticket is submitted and it takes days, sometimes weeks, for someone to respond to it. What are the software developers even doing? You hear that they’re busy, but busy with what? All you see is that your work is not getting done.

You give it a couple of months, but enough is enough. Who do you have to complain to in order for development to get done?

You negotiated that deal with a potential client and they need a few things done by this Friday, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the IT team is saying that they can’t get to it for a few months. How do they not understand that this is priority and that they need to drop everything in order to finish this deal?

During each leadership meeting, you make it a mission that everyone understands that the IT team is garbage. You see that most of the other business leaders feel the same way. Maybe it’s time to fire everyone and hire an entirely new staff?

From the Software Development Perspective

The IT team is constantly bombarded by requests from every department within the organization. Sales wants the specific tools integrated into the website. Finance wants modifications to the reports. This goes on indefinitely. The backlog starts building up and finally bursts.

When there’s no oversight in the software development team, it’s up to the team members to assign tasks to themselves and figure out what the priority is. Most of the time, the easy pickings are handled first. This includes tasks that don’t take long and tasks the developers are most familiar with.

There is no sense of urgency until the individuals that submitted the tickets start to complain. Those that complain the most get their work prioritized. The squeaky wheel does get the grease.

Then there are deadlines that are imposed on the dev team without consulting the dev team! How many times has the organization said, “we’re launching next Friday” and this was the first time that you heard about this. All hell brakes lose and you scramble to get it done. How can the business side schedule release dates when they have not consulted the development team?

Toxicity starts to build and work is eventually either deprioritized or completely neglected. The development team can’t understand how the business side doesn’t see how much work is on their plate already.


You can see the frustration from both sides; the issue really boils down to communication.

There needs to be a person that communicates with both sides. Scheduling weekly calls with different members of the organization and understanding the priorities fully is key. I personally talk to individuals from each team and have a project management board that shows all of the IT projects. Microsoft Project seems to “boring” for most. I keep it colorful with Miro, with each project listed on top of each other with milestones and team members associated with each milestone. Showing the individual, in real time, how other projects are affected is key.

Replying to emails promptly is also a quick, simple win. People just don’t want to feel ignored. Scheduling a call to talk will make them and their concern feel important.

The person that communicates with the business side should communicate priorities back to the software development team. They also need to communicate to the business side the dev team’s current capacity. That way, everyone can feel aligned.

Development Team Structure

If possible, have multiple developers on your team. Senior developers can focus on the large projects and the easy tasks can be handled by the more junior staff. That way the projects that the company deems high priority are receiving the necessary attention, but the low-priority tasks are also being handled at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.


It’s always said, and everyone knows it, but people just hate to communicate. Talk to each other and everything will be okay.

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