I've recently moved to a new business unit within a fairly large organisation (2,000 people). I was recruited as a senior project engineer, but after arrival I was asked to line manage a team of five web developers.
This team has been without a proper line manager for a year and the role was being covered by my new manager. She's done a good job but is too senior within the organisation to have the time required to do this well.
I'm happy to do this in the short to medium term - I have previously run a software development team in my previous role, albeit with a very different set of technologies. One of the things that I have picked up is trying to recruit a permanent team lead.
The team has a difficult relationship with the rest of the organisation - they feel that their skill set isn't understood by some of the decision makers above them. This is partially true, but partially due to the attitude of some members of the team, which has become very confrontational. I think the situation has been aggravated by the lack of close management for such a long time. The trust between the team and others in the organisation needs to be rebuilt, which is something that I am slowly making progress with. There is clearly no easy fix.
It's worth adding that there are no concerns about the technical ability of the team or approach to their work, which is good to excellent - the issues are all around how they interface with other people.
Due to the trust issue, I feel that it is important to get the team's buy in to the interviewing process. The current format for the face to face interview is:
45 minutes: me, my manager + HR (general questions and company fit)
45 minutes: 2 members of dev team (technical assessment)
30 minutes: meet the rest of the team + me informally over a coffee
15 minutes: wrap up
I'd like opinions on how much influence we should allow the development team to have in choosing their manager - at the moment we would veto a hire if they weren't happy. It's unusual within our organisation for team members to have any say on who their manager is and I'm now starting to come into conflict with others in the organisation who think that they shouldn't be allowed a say. I think they should have a say as this will help with the issue of rebuilding trust, but I'm beginning to question my judgement.