Top 10 tips for managing a remote software development team

Organize your collaboration with a remote team

Remote work is becoming increasingly popular. In a recent Gallup poll, 37% of respondents said they already do some form of remote work. Obviously going far is the best way, but of course let’s recognize that this has its challenges. Once you’ve made the decision to work remotely, it can be difficult to tackle organizational issues that come with managing employees around the world.

Tip 1. Plan the communication

Your remote team will be working from a different location and likely a different time zone. Strict adherence to scheduled meetings helps you organize your day and your team’s workflow. Failure to hold timely meetings can lead to communication gaps and delay the start of your project.

Ukraine is conveniently located within three time zones of the rest of Europe, which is why many clients choose software development companies in Ukraine.

Tip 2. Tools for remote teams

Tools are essential for remote team collaboration as they help you structure your team’s work. An effective remote team has a suite of tools: an email service, file sharing capabilities, an instant messaging platform, project management software, video conferencing, and whatever else is required.

There are many collaboration tools that support well-structured communication.

For all-in-one solutions that help you organize your work, prioritize it, chat about work, send files, and manage your projects, you can use:

All-in-one solutions

Troop Messenger, BasicOps, TipHive, Hibox, Paymo, Hive

manage tasks

Avaza, Taskworld, TeamGantt, Fusioo, Trello, Jira, Twoodo, Wrike, Worksection, Finit, Eylean Board

Document collaboration tools

Google Drive, Bit.ai, TipHive

Communication tools for teams

Skype, Slack, SocialChorus, UberConference

Tip 3. Find a nice place to work

Find a nice, quiet place where you can hold regular meetings. The best place is an office space equipped with a good internet connection and a modern computer with a microphone and video camera. If you are missing any of these things, your communication will not be successful and productive. If you choose a noisy place, you may become distracted and lose concentration.

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Tip 4. Define workflows

Create clear project guidelines for productivity, teamwork, and accountability so your employees know what to expect. Present the idea of ​​your project and describe what you want to achieve in detail. The estimate for your project depends on what you communicate to your team. Your team can start developing your product faster and provide you with a more accurate quote if you clearly state your vision for the project.

Set clear tasks and give detailed answers. Review the project requirements document carefully to ensure you have included all features. Respond promptly to emails from your project manager as they are the one who will relay what you say to the team. The development of your product depends on the information your team receives.

Most IT companies work according to agile methods. It is advisable to split development into iterations. Discuss how often you will have project meetings and what communication tools you will use (Slack, Jira, Skype or others). Arrange with your project manager to hold a short recap session after each meeting to set new goals and analyze the decisions you’ve made.

Tip 5. Take a business trip

Take a short business trip to meet in person the IT professionals you hired. This is a good start for your project. On site you can clarify all questions about your project in a few meetings. Neither you nor your team members will be pressed for time in this case, and everyone will focus on communicating together in the same meeting room. In addition to talking shop, you can make personal contacts. Your employees can also be inspired by your enthusiasm and vision for the project, which will stick in their minds and guide them through the launch.

Tip 6. Really get involved

The success of your product depends on your commitment. If a customer doesn’t care, they leave their staff without notice and come back at the start time, the outcome can be disappointing. Your team expects you to show genuine interest throughout the launch. After all, you are the initiator of the project and your team’s cheerleader. First of all, be the first to show up for meetings online and show your commitment to your business.

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Tip 7. Provide constant feedback

The results of each iteration and sprint depend on how quickly and comprehensively you provide feedback. Discuss with your project manager which tool you will be using so you can let everyone know about the decisions you have made and the tasks that need to be completed.

Tip 8. Stay on the same page

To keep communication clear, make yourself easy to understand. Decide on the terminology you will use so that everyone means the same thing when talking about the project. Try to express your thoughts without using slang or idioms that could be misinterpreted.

A sense of humor is a good tool to encourage positive communication. Make sure you smile and occasionally crack a joke when you’re on a video call to keep everyone comfortable.

Tip 9. Trust your team

Managing programmers means trusting them. When you hire an offshore company, treat their employees not as your property but as individuals who can bring your idea to fruition. Treat them as your team members and encourage them. Your project is already as important to them as it is to you. If you don’t study what’s been done and don’t provide good feedback, you risk spending more hours revising things because you didn’t pay the proper attention earlier. Listen to your developers and designers to better understand the functionality, especially if you don’t have a technical background.

It is clear that tastes differ, especially when multiple cultures are involved. But when you entrust your product to your offshore team members, you have to trust them. There is a lot of experience and knowledge behind the suggestions they are likely to make to improve your product. Consider their suggestions and consider the outcome when implementing those suggestions. Put simply, trust ideas that your developers and designers express in terms of development and design.

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Hire a full-stack software company. A full-stack development company starts with ideation and ends with supporting your product after release. When you hire external designers or QA engineers, you need to spend more time coordinating the workflow of two independent teams.

Tip 10. Reward your developers

You are the leader of your team and your co-workers will ask for your approval. Assigning tasks is one thing, praising work done is another in team management. Praise is sure to boost your team’s performance. To start off on a good note, you can start each meeting with a compliment for the work done so far. Be sure to explain what you like about the progression of the project. If you can give constructive praise, your team will understand that they are moving in the right direction.

During or at the end of development, you can show your appreciation by sending your team gifts like t-shirts or badges with your company logo or product. You can also reward them with cash rewards. By giving bonuses you invest in your project. This generosity is of course not necessary, but it certainly leaves a lasting impression of your cooperation.

How to manage employees in remote locations

Working online with a remote team isn’t much different than working with a team in person. Follow the workflows that you have established with your project manager and show enthusiasm and responsibility for the progress of the development. Inspire your team by making a real commitment and setting clear goals to ensure everything goes according to plan. Provide feedback on the smallest details about your product. The overall success of your project and the speed of development depend on the answers you give your team.

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