Ways to Better Manage Your Remote Development Team
Remote working has been the norm for many companies as they deal with the effects of the pandemic. It offers its own set of advantages and challenges compared to working in-house. Work still needs to be done even when it’s done remotely.
As a flexible offshore outsourcing company, Flexisource IT is an expert in managing remote development teams, especially when our clients are mostly from Australia and New Zealand. If you’re looking for ways to manage your remote team, here are ways to better manage your remote development team.
Hire top-calibre talents with the right attitude and look for talents
Collaboration is the key to successful remote development teams. However, it comes with many challenges. Hiring top-calibre talents in your development team will help you achieve your goals both in software development and business. But, aside from their skills and talents, it is also important that you are hiring people aligned with your company values and get those candidates with the right work attitude.
Of course, the reality is software development teams are not formed at the same time. It could be that some members are hired earlier than their colleagues. As the manager, how are will you manage this? In a remote setup, get your teammates onboard by leading by example. If they see their manager and team leader embodying company values and display an inspiring attitude at work, they would be motivated to follow the example.
Establishing a personal connection with your teammates more than the typical day-to-day accomplishment of tasks creates trust and boosts team morale among members. Take time to get to know remote team members. The stronger the bond becomes, the easier it will be for everyone to be aligned towards the vision of the team.
Working virtually is on a different dynamic compared with in-person interactions. However, face-to-face communication should not be a hindrance in remote teams.
Teams may use video conferencing apps and other available channels to establish open communication. This way, members can freely collaborate and huddle to share knowledge, track progress, and build personal connections with their teammates. Remember that voice, tone, facial expressions and posture al play an important part during in-person face time.
When establishing rapport, it’s important to develop communication with the team. In a remote setup, important information can get lost, which is intensified by the lack of face-to-face interaction and difference in time zones.
To ensure everyone in the team is aligned with the goals of the project, here are some tips:
- Invest in quality equipment and software tools – Internet connection and availability of software tools for remote teams are crucial. Companies need to provide the necessary equipment to developers so they could work on tasks more effectively.
- Arrange daily meetings – Development teams usually have daily alignment meetings where they set time each workday to discuss quick status updates and other important insights about the project.
- Use tools to your advantage – Maximise the availability of various chat messaging applications like Slack or Skype for immediate things to discuss with the team. If you would need to discuss extensively and in detail, communication through email is a great option too.
Most people don’t want to have a vulture watching everything they do behind their backs. So, as managers, it is important to delegate tasks to teammates and avoid controlling every detail of the project.
When developers are micromanaged, they often feel undervalued and they feel like they cannot express their creativity which hampers their growth in solving the problems on their own. Micromanagement will only rob them of the opportunity to learn by overcoming the challenges on their own.
This is not a good practice and it could even drive away your developers to leave the company. Learn to trust your team that they can do the job on their own and still deliver good results.
Tip: Establish good workflow documentation. Set realistic and achievable objectives and orient the team on your daily processes (especially when you are implementing Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban). This provides clearer directions for the developers and it prevents misunderstandings. At the same time, it assures managers that they are updated on tasks and the deliverables meet quality standards.
Streamline a common development culture
Creating a development culture that works for you and your team would promote productivity and collaboration.
Here are some tips that might be helpful for you:
- Create a unified development environment during setup – For a smoother transition and onboarding process, create a document explaining the development process and environment you currently have. It is easier for developers to work together, stay productive, and monitor issues during this step.
- Be transparent in decision-making – Transparency is key when it comes to successful remote development teams. When developers understand decisions and why it was decided that way, it is easier to adjust. An announcement board on Slack or a group chat dedicated solely for announcements might be beneficial.
- Create guidelines for bug reports – For bugs and errors found, you can create a guideline on how to file the bug reports and fix them so it will be clear for everyone to monitor the issues.
- Define “Complete” in tasks – How can tasks be considered “complete” in the project? Knowing the definition of completion help set proper expectations and lessens potential misunderstandings.
What other tips do you recommend in managing a remote development team? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Tiffany Tolones is a content writer and a social media manager with experience in writing for media companies in the Philippines. She creates content for lifestyle, tech, and Korean-related niches.