8 Tips on Managing Remote Development Teams

Future of Software Development - FEB 2023
Daniel Grygoryev
Senior Technical Writer
Daniel Grygoryev is a highly experienced copywriter and researcher with a technical and trustworthy writing style. He specializes in creating professional and engaging whitepapers, pitch decks, and blog content for various niches including NFTs, crypto, IT, and digital marketing. Daniel has helped numerous businesses stand out from competitors and persuade investors.
8 Tips on Managing Remote Development Teams

The growing trend of having original software within companies has increased the need for software development. Also, with the increase of hybrid and work-from-home spaces, companies have created tools to increase efficiency for remote operations. Projects are often delivered within set timelines, so leaders must develop strategies to maximize productivity and optimize workflow.

Managing distributed teams present unique challenges. However, you can do several things to ensure your remote team stays on track and strives toward success. This article outlines tips and advice on managing a remote development team best.

Understand the Market

Before focusing on the best practices for managing a remote development team successfully, it is a good idea to understand the market. It will help you identify the right talent for your project and ensure that you are hiring the right people with the right skills.

When understanding the market, you should consider the current trends in technology and the industry. Learn about the skills in demand and those that may be difficult to find. Look at what other companies are doing and their needs. This will give you an idea of what kind of talent is available and how much it cost to hire them.

Keeping an objective perspective when finding the best software development company is good. The overseas economy might be light on costs, but more is needed to guarantee that the quality of work will be up to par. Also, depending on where the remote team is located, there might be cultural differences that could affect the workflow.

As long as you understand the market and its needs, you can find the right remote software development team for your project.


Create a Clear Vision

Once the right people are on board for your project, you must clearly envision what you'd like to accomplish. Goals, milestones, and timelines should be established and communicated to all stakeholders for successful task completion.

Remember to Include Company Culture and Value

A clear understanding of the company culture and product vision is the first benchmark for remote developers, especially since they cannot meet in person. Here are some tips on how to introduce your company culture and product concept to a remote team:

1. Hold Introductory Video Meetings

Video meetings are an effective way to introduce your company culture and product vision to remote employees, as it allows everyone to feel connected and engaged with each other. You can organize these video meetings during onboarding or training, but they can also be done regularly throughout the workweek.

2. Create and Share Company Values & Goals

Share your company values and goals with your team so everyone understands what you're trying to achieve. This will help them stay motivated, set expectations for their performance, and align their efforts toward achieving your business objectives.

3. Share Success Stories from Other Remote Teams

Some people may find working remotely daunting, but success stories from another team of developers will show them that teams can thrive despite being apart geographically. These stories help illustrate the potential impact that individual contributions can make with the physical separation from the company– something all team members should strive toward doing!

4. Make sure Everyone is Involved in Product Vision & Decisions

Encourage input from every team member when discussing the product's roadmap or making decisions around feature development or changes. Allowing everyone to have information about their work makes them more invested in the outcomes – thereby increasing their chances of success!

A clear vision will help keep the team on track and ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. Additionally, it will help ensure that all team members know their responsibilities and what they need to do to meet deadlines.


Develop Guidelines for Communication & Collaboration

Since most team meetings among remote developers will occur via written channels (email, chat apps), there must be clarity surrounding how employees should communicate and collaborate in those spaces. Establish project guidelines that encourage polite behavior, purposeful conversations, and transparency regarding who should be in what conversations when needed.

Online communication Tools

Remote software development teams need quick and effective communication to get work done. Investing in the right online communication tools can help ensure everyone is on the same page and able to collaborate effectively. Popular options include:

  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Google Hangouts,
  • and Microsoft Teams.

Access to collaborative project management tools is integral for successful remote project management, especially when coordinating different tasks between multiple virtual team members. An effective collaboration platform like Slack helps users share information quickly while enabling them to work asynchronously, regardless of location or working hours.

Establishing a shared workspace and task-tracking process can provide greater clarity and visibility amongst your distributed teams regarding project deliverables and outputs. Additionally, assigning clear ownership for specific tasks and activities creates accountability.


Prioritize Regular Team Interactions

For teams to work effectively together, they need frequent communication. With remote teams dispersed across time zones, you will need to schedule regular check-ins with each other by phone or video conferencing so that the members can discuss issues, ask questions, and stay informed about progress or deadlines.

Regular check-ins are essential for remote employees as they allow everyone to stay on the same page and for any issues to be addressed quickly. These check-ins can be done over video calls or through written communication, depending on what works best for your team.


Regular Performance Reviews & Feedback

Performance reviews are an integral part of managing a remote team. They allow you to assess how well each individual performs and provide feedback to help them improve their work.

In addition to regular performance reviews, it's crucial to provide feedback on a more regular basis. This can be done through one-on-one conversations or group meetings, depending on the size of your team. Providing timely and constructive feedback will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that any issues are addressed quickly.

Finally, it's important to recognize and reward good work through public recognition, bonuses, or other incentives. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work will help keep them motivated and encourage them to continue doing their best work.


Push Through With the Deadlines

It is vital for teams working remotely to ensure deadlines are met by establishing realistic expectations and providing detailed timelines. Furthermore, tracking progress and holding people accountable can provide additional insurance for successful completion. 

Setting smaller milestones for short-term and long-term goals is the best practice when meeting project expectations. 

Focus on planning daily activities, or if the project is more complex, provide the partnering team with quarterly, monthly, and weekly requirements leaving space for them to adjust or give a proposal on moving forward.


Leverage Automated Testing

Development teams can improve decision-making regarding quality assurance (QA) tests if they can formally automate tests related to structure and design via scripting within test suites rather than using manual processes like test plans or cases.

Having automated QA not only improves productivity but also speeds up feedback cycles, leading to higher quality software releases compared to manual methods of testing code structure, which take longer due to inaccurate results often arising from discrepancy issues that could have been skipped.


Consistently Monitor Productivity Levels

Monitoring productivity levels daily to assess the effectiveness of development goals should be a custom practice. It allows managers to identify areas that need improvement and pinpoint individual team members who might benefit from additional assistance or resources to complete tasks on time and accurately.


Adaptability Is Key

Remote workers often juggle multiple priorities both inside and outside of work, so managers should prioritize understanding their employee's needs on this front whenever possible while at the same time balancing productivity expectations against workloads according to each person's circumstances.

Such an approach can help build trustful relationships with remote teams and ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.

Flexibility and empathy are key when dealing with a remote team—you need to adapt to each individual's culture, working hours, and communication styles. Being accommodating and understanding will help ensure everyone is on the same page and gets their work done effectively.

Use the Differences to Your Advantage

When managing a remote team, it's important to take advantage of the unique perspectives and skills that each individual brings to the table. By leveraging each team member's different backgrounds in the development process, experiences, and ideas, you can create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

Encourage collaboration between team members by creating opportunities for them to share their thoughts and opinions. This will help foster a sense of unity and trust, which is essential for any successful remote team.

Also, by taking into account the time zone difference, you can take a performative advantage if the companies are located in different time zones. Developing a reasonable schedule can help save time. For example, when the remote team finishes the daily progress 6-8 hours before your work day, you can provide the necessary feedback or confirmations so they can go back/forward with the projects according to the provided input.

Equipping team members with the right technology, including video conferencing software, task management systems, and collaboration tools, is mandatory. Additionally, setting clear instructions for tasks and expectations for communication will keep everyone aligned.


To Wrap Things Up

To sum up, managing a remote team can be challenging but very rewarding on a personal level. Through a managerial position and consistent performance monitoring, flexibility to satisfy the needs of each person, and recognizing the distinctive opinions and abilities that every contributor brings to the project, you can create an environment where everyone is respected and recognized.

Establishing a clear set of action items and communication expectations can ensure your remote development team works as efficiently as possible. By following these guidelines, you can guarantee success and productivity.

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Daniel Grygoryev
Daniel Grygoryev
Senior Technical Writer
Find me on: linkedin account
Daniel Grygoryev is a highly experienced copywriter and researcher with a technical and trustworthy writing style. He specializes in creating professional and engaging whitepapers, pitch decks, and blog content for various niches including NFTs, crypto, IT, and digital marketing. Daniel has helped numerous businesses stand out from competitors and persuade investors.
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