One of the biggest benefits of today’s virtual work environments is that our hiring isn’t limited by geography. This is particularly enticing when building software teams. The developer market is increasingly tight, so finding local talent with a specialized set of skills is extremely difficult. But if you can search nationally or even globally for developer teams, the scope of your will benefit. Today we can build teams across continents into high-performing machines – as long as we know how to manage them properly.
Six Tricks for Managing Remote Dispersed Developer Teams
Tip #1 Track Developer Hours
One of the first tips we can share for managing developer teams that are remote from a primary office location is to make sure you are appropriately and precisely tracking their hours. Since software projects are so complicated, using Agile methodology to organize the project into manageable deployments is just one way to ensure that the end-user requirements will be met within deadlines.
It’s hard to understand what is happening across remote teams when the project is as complex as software. Making sure that developers are clocked in and tracking their tie and labor is crucial to managing these teams.
Tip #2 Increase Communication
Tip number two is to implement systems that help projects run smoothly while improving communication. Technology tools like Slack for instant messaging and Confluence to record documentation all help tech teams coordinate their effort. Having a virtual daily standup where developers use Agile methodology to communicate what they’re working on is crucial to accountability.
Tip #3 Make Use of Flextime
Another trick is to allow developers to work when they’re most productive, whether it’s 2:00 am or 2:00 pm. This flextime is one of the biggest benefits of working remotely. But using daily standups or other methods of accountability for their time will help keep the entire team on the same track.
Tip #4 Track Individual and Team Output
The fourth tip to consider is how to track individual work output. While the deployment is an obvious way of charting the team’s progress, use software that can also measure the output of the individual. Project managers or business analysts can be tasked with running the analytics to determine your highest and lowest producers.
Tip #5 Organize Around Time Zones
It’s so easy to forget the differences in time zones when working with a remote team. Time zones can stymie communication, particularly if there’s an overseas team and one in the states. But simple tricks, like having the global team participate in a morning stand up and then end their shift, or running a team meeting at the mid-point in the day when you know everyone is clocked in, are simple ways to keep everyone on the same page.
Tip #6 Check-in With The Virtual Team
Sometimes it’s lonely when you work from home. Setting up video conferencing so the devs can all see each other regularly is one way for everyone to connect. But also ask your remote developers how they like the work and working remotely to be sure the arrangement is still working well for them.
If you’re interested in working with remote teams, Blackstone can help you find and organize your dream team. Call us today.