Remote team is not an alternative now. It is just a trend
It has long been discussed whether in the case of software development products, building a remote team is a good idea. I know perfectly well that there are many supporters of this solution, but others still can't adapt to it and prefer to bet on the in-house team. However, some companies are forced to change their approach due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the impending crisis.
Many companies are currently looking for answers on how to effectively build a remote software development team. When answering this question, I always pay attention primarily to the fact that team leaders must be ready for remote cooperation. They are the ones who have to start the changes themselves. They must be ready for this specific type of work with a team at a distance. Only in this way, if the whole is well ordered, you can be sure that together you will maintain the highest productivity and your products will be successively developed.
Let’s get to the point. I have prepared 6 tips for you, based on my experience at Codest, which will help you to manage the remote collaboration process better. Here they are.
Tips for managing remote software development team
1st tip: Time zone
The ideal solution is when you, as a leader, work in the same time zone as your team. Of course, this is not an obligation, but it will facilitate your cooperation. I am referring to daily reporting or possible catch-ups (e.g. in the form of daily calls) at a convenient time for both parties.
2nd tip: Set clear rules of cooperation
Developers with whom you will be cooperating must know exactly what you expect from them. They need to understand the product specification, so you should start your cooperation by familiarizing them with it. Develop a specific plan and measure the effectiveness of your actions. Make sure that both your in-house team and your remote teams are on the same page.
3rd tip: Take care of your communication
The point is, you should avoid mistakes and misunderstandings during your work. Schedule a daily meeting in a form of e.g. daily calls, catch-ups or stand-ups. It will help you in information exchanging, keeping the whole team up to date and tracking all the tasks. This is also a great opportunity to solve some arising problems.
Use tools for project management, daily communication, video conferencing, working time measurement and more. There are many on the market which offer countless functions. What's more, if your team is not particularly extensive (for example up to 10 people), you will be able to use many tools for free. My personal recommendation for you is: Jira / Trello (for project management), Slack / Skype, Microsoft Teams (for daily communication), Harvest / Clockify (for time tracking) and Wherby / Zoom for video conferences.
5th tip: Get to know your team better
You will be working with the team remotely, but if you can, organize face to face meetings from time to time. It's about mutual integration and getting to know each other better. Nothing unites and motivates the team better than fighting barriers and shortening the distance. Don’t be strangers to each other.
6th tip: Select the developers that suit your company and products
It is important that the developers match the specificity of your products in terms of experience and knowledge of the technologies you intend to use. So, find the right software development partner and conduct an initial job interview with the developers. If you think these are the right candidates to work with you, trust them.
The process of building a remote software development team and arranging your collaboration will require more time to be spent at the initial stage. If you do it in accordance with the principles mentioned above, I am sure that you will quickly notice the first pros of this form of cooperation.
Finally, I would like to add that in my opinion, the trend associated with remote cooperation - not only in the IT sector - will be constantly growing, so it's worth being ready for it.
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