Managing remote teams has become a new way of working for many businesses since the Covid-19 waves impacted the world. Today it has become a trend where we see companies and startups from G7 nations leverage remote work to their advantage, hiring tech talent from across the globe. 

However, in the world of remote developers, the biggest obstacle is faced by the managers, who have to accept the fact that developers will not be in plain sight. Managers are now required to find ways to manage and follow the work remotely. This new paradigm has challenged the developers to change their practices and integrate various mechanisms to manage remote teams and track their progress. Using these ways allows both managers and developers to be more productive. 

Seven Ways To Effectively Manage A Remote Development Team

1. Enhance Communication

While managing a remote team, it is vital to ensure proper communication. When working in different time zones, it can be challenging to set meetings and work with people. However, you can face these difficulties wisely with effective communication. Have a strict schedule, organized workflow, and ensure that your team stays on the same page about everything. Prioritize stand-up meetings and keep them regular, relevant, and short. Also, have a lot of face-to-face meetings as that adds a human touch to this highly technical setup. After all, you can’t deny the value of facial impressions in a conversation, and they add more meaning than the actual world. Often your tone can’t precisely convey your messages. 

2. Make The Most Use Of Remote Communication & Project Management Tools

It can work wonders to use the right tools when handling a remote development team. Tools like Trello, Slack, and Zoom add value and efficiently structure the workflow. Here we discuss a few of the remote work tools: 

a) Trello

This is a free and simplest project management software that manages remote teams. With Trello, you can create different boards for different projects and manage tasks by using lists and cards. It also allows adding descriptions and assigning cards (regarding tasks) to the team members, and collaborating through comments. This tool is available on Android, iOS, and the web. 

b) GitHub

GitHub client

GitHub is a tool used by more than 50 million developers globally. This free code hosting platform is helpful to collaborate with the team and version control. GitHub allows to host application code and review & manage the project. It is available both on macOS and Windows. 

c) Slack

This is another popular platform used by the development teams. It is an exceptional platform to create different channels and dedicated spaces, allowing the teams to collaborate and communicate. Slack also allows communicating with a certain developer rather than engaging the whole team via direct messages and other private channels. It is available on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. 

d) Google Drive

Google Drive

This tool is quite popular among developers who frequently use it to share and store documents on the cloud without worrying about physical storage and backup. This is a secure platform available on Android, iOS, Windows, Web, and macOS. 

e) Zoom

Zoom

This popular video-conferencing app can be used to collaborate with team members. Zoom platform allows up to 10,000 participants, and hence it is a popular platform for video seminars and live meetings. Zoom is available on Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows.

3. Ensure Product Documentation To Attain Quality Results

With a lack of proper product documentation, you may rush through the development phase with an unclear vision and build the wrong things. Hence, it is vital to work through a thorough design process as that helps define the scope of work. Most design documents must be developed on the client’s side to have more control over the process. 

4. Clear Work Guidelines

As a manager, you must define clear work procedures regarding productivity, accountability, and teamwork. Hence the employees know what to expect. You can present your project idea and describe what you expect them to do in detail. Your project estimate depends on what you communicate to your remote team. When you provide your vision for the project clearly, it will allow the team to start developing the product faster and give a precise quote.

Thus, set precise tasks and give comprehensive answers. While reviewing the project requirements document, pay attention to ensure you have included all the functionality. You must promptly respond to emails and pass down information to the team quickly so they can implement that information in the product development. Have a clear discussion with the team regarding how often you conduct project meetings and what communication tools will be used. 

5. Scheduling

Scheduling can be challenging for the remote team. When you are working from a distant location, usually there is a time difference, so the situation can get worse in a remote working situation when there is an added issue of different time zones. You can fix this issue by having flexible work hours and overlapping schedules. Many developers and tech lovers love working at odd hours, so this should not be a problem. To attain maximum productivity in such a scenario, reserve a few hours every day for meetings, Q&A sessions, and scrum. Besides, allow the remote developers to take charge of the work hours, letting them decide the time they are convenient to work.

6. Get Involved In The Process

The success of a project depends on how involved you are. So as a project manager, never let your team think you do not care or leave them without notice. This can lead to disappointing results. You are responsible for the project in a big way, even when sitting at another location. You are their cheerleader, so always be the first to show up online for meetings, show your dedication, and set the right example for your team.

7. Offer Constant Feedback

Providing timely feedback is crucial as the product is in the making, especially in the case of software where a small bug or error can make all the difference. So, always offer quick and extensive feedback about every iteration and sprint. 

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8. Don’t Let Distance Dampen Team Spirit

It can be very different from being a part of a remote team to meeting your colleagues every day. It can be challenging to bond with a remote team, but the right approach can make a difference. Make best efforts not to create a ‘we’ vs. ‘them’ mentality. Treat the remote developers as a part of your team who work remotely.

9. Regular Facetime To Try Connecting With Team Members. 

facetime

Don’t treat them differently from the in-house team, so avoid using the words “them” and “us.” Include the remote team in all the meetings, work, etc.

Rewards Developers

Rewards Developers

When you are the team manager, your employees will be looking up to you for approval. Your job is not just to assign tasks but also to praise for their work done. This will boost your team’s performance. It can do wonders to start each meeting with praise for the task done so far. Explain to the group what you like about the course of the project. With your constructive praise, your team will know that they are heading in the right direction and will be enthusiastic about putting in great efforts. As the project end, you can send gifts or cash bonuses to show appreciation. This way, you are investing in your project, and these gestures leave a lasting impression. 

Conclusion

It may seem dreadful but working with a remote team is not much different than working with an in-house team. By taking care of a few aspects like following work procedures set with the team, proper scheduling, and showing enthusiasm, you can enhance the development progress. Be genuinely involved to set an example and form clear goals, so everything goes as planned. Offer prompt feedback on even the most minor details regarding the project, affecting the overall project speed and success.  

If you are looking for a remote team of developers, get in touch. 

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.