Managing remote software development teams is quite difficult. During the Covid lockdowns of 2020-2021, we all got first-hand experience in remote working. Some of us revelled in it whilst others could not take the heat, but is the latter due to a lack of drive or a lack of management skills? At KeenEye, we believe in the latter as all our remote teams work like clockwork. In todays blog, we’ll be exploring some of the ways to better manage a remote development team, with tips and tricks that we learned through continuous trial and error, so keep a Keen Eye on the points below!
Your communication game needs to be on point!
Effective communication is an absolute necessity. A lot of information can get lost in translation (figuratively and literally) so it is of utmost importance that your team leads create an atmosphere of acceptance and spend extra time to ensure the task / information is sent across to the team in a way they would completely understand the task at hand. A lot of software houses fall short due to information not being communicated in a proper way. This causes delays in delivery and code bugs / errors if the task then has to be rushed.
If your team works in different time zones, use that in your favour!
Ah, the beauty of having a global team, right? Right! Making use of the different time zones is quite honestly a cheat code. If you have clients from all corners of the globe, having a remote team will mean you have developers working around the clock, always available for any emergency that may arise with a client and that’s something you can market as a Unique Selling Pont (USP) because not many companies can do that. It also helps with deadlines because once again, working around the clock will mean faster bug fixes and project deliveries.
Motivation and rewards!
This point is probably the most important. The team needs to work as a team and that means helping each other out by constant support, motivation and commending great performances. This uplifts team morale and we all know – a cohesive team is a dream team! At KeenEye, we have daily team standups to check in on progress, address blockers and brainstorm on ideas on how to improve all aspects of the work we do and the results paint a story of success!
Embrace diversity and don’t let the team being scattered around the world affect team spirit!
When you work in a company (physically going into work), team chemistry is built by extracurricular activities that may or may not be induced by an activity that gives one a massive headache the next morning, but that is important. You need to build chemistry, laugh, joke and have a good time with your team. That is quite difficult with a remote team, but there are remote team activities that can be carried out that builds the same level of familiarity. At KeenEye, we have “coffee break” sessions (again, both figuratively and literally) but the former involves a lot of fun, laughter and happiness whilst getting to know your team. Our coffee breaks involve online games and this has proved to be a roaring success in terms of building our team chemistry and we know it can work for you too!
Create an open and non-toxic work environment!
I think we’ve all been there – working under and absolute rear-end of a manager. The usual corporate culture is more toxic than Chernobyl, with favoritism and overall unfair treatment of team members. We have first-hand experience in how well a remote team can work if there is a flat hierarchical structure, an open environment where anyone can share their thoughts and put forth their ideas for improvement or speak out openly if they see something wrong. That has helped us thrive even though our team is remote and we take immense pride in creating that kind of culture, which is all on our founder and CEO Shaun.
In conclusion, we all know managing a remote workforce is a daunting task, but if you employ the right practices and create a favorable atmosphere, the distance seems like it isn’t even there. On that note, we shall leave you with one quote – “building a team is easy, maintaining it is the challenge” and one that we feel we have risen to quite well.
(1) How to Manage a Remote Software Development Team – DZone. https://dzone.com/articles/how-to-effectively-manage-a-remote-software-develo
(2) Remote Teams Guide: How to Manage Your Remote Software Development Team. https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/remote-teams-manager-guide/
(3) 7 Tips for Managing a Remote Software Development Team. https://pierpoint.com/blog/managing-remote-software-development-team/
(4) 12 tips for managing a remote software development team – KnowTechie. https://knowtechie.com/12-tips-for-managing-a-remote-software-development-team/
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