According to a survey by Owl Labs, after COVID-19, 92% of people want to work at least one day per week from home, and 80% of people want to work at least three days per week from home.
And thereby, companies have started letting their employees work from home and go fully remote for most openings. Where companies save infrastructure costs and get access to the top software talent without location barriers, developers get better work-life balance and productivity and work with the best companies worldwide.
For software development, which is among the top remote-oriented jobs in the world, this change in the work scene has made it imperative for managers to know how to manage developers for effective collaboration and productivity. However, they find managing development teams a daunting task.
With this article, we have given you six practical tips to make the most out of your collaboration before you hire a remote team of developers.
Proper communication channels for managing development teams
The most crucial thing in managing development teams is to create a good sense of understanding and trust among each team member.
While working in varied time zones, it isn’t easy to set meetings and work with people. However, you can wisely overcome these challenges with effective communication. The manager should schedule regular meetings to communicate with the in-house and remote teams to ensure that all are on the same page.
Have an organized workflow, prompt schedule, and face-to-face meetings with each employee. Make sure to keep these meetings short, regular and relevant. This enables managers to handle their teams appropriately. In turn, employees also get motivated.
Face-to-face meetings can help better identify the staff’s emotional status or mood of whether the team is happy and functioning together as a single unit. And, if employees are happy, it reflects in their work.
1. Project management and collaboration tools
Simple projects are easy to handle, but complex ones must be quantified, objectified, segregated, and delegated appropriately. A software development team must have handy tools, including an email service, an instant messaging platform, file-sharing capabilities, and project management software. For engineering teams, project management tools like Zoom, Slack, and Trello can help to structure the workflow efficiently.
It is the most uncomplicated and free project management software tool. Trello is used to create different boards to manage various project tasks by using lists and cards. The team members can add descriptions and collaborate through comments.
In Slack, the teams can collaborate efficiently using various features, including private and shared channels, pinned items, search, apps and integrations, and more.
This tool is used for collaborating with team members through video conferencing. It allows more than 8000 participants; hence it is used for video seminars and live meetings. Zoom is available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows platforms.
2. Hire self-organized people
Hiring self-organized and reliable people is essential for building a remote software development team. The remote team members should be above average levels, always ready to work independently, and be self-motivated. While looking for the team, you should consider people who have soft skills like:
Moreover, trust your team after you hire them. While interviewing, ask specific behavioral questions and find out whether the candidate is motivated or not. Ensure the candidate you hire has all or most of the above soft skills.
3. Create well-defined work procedures and company culture
Managers make mistakes by providing incomplete information to remote developers. Not providing developers with a full product vision or introducing them to company culture is a big mistake that most managers make. Developers should know how to work within the company culture before starting any project.
You must share the necessary onboarding documentation with the new team members to help them understand the tools, processes, and established communication procedures.
This provides a clear understanding of objectives, key metrics, and frameworks for tasks and deliverables. Also, project guidelines for effectiveness, productivity, and transparency are essential when working with remote teams.
4. Take advantage of different time zones.
Taking advantage of different time zones is another efficient tip for managing development teams. Though it can be challenging, finding the golden hour is the best solution to this problem.
You and your team should be available in the overlapping hours of your time zones. Use tools like Every TimeZone and TimeAndDate to calculate the golden hour. For locations with no overlap of working hours, one can keep track of:
- A daily report of the work progress
- Work planned for the day
- Issues that are interfering with productivity
Besides, there should be an emergency communication channel where the team can reach you anytime, whether you are working or not. It helps you to build a strong relationship between you and your team and also keeps your product up and running most of the time.
5. Reward your employees
A team manager’s job is not just to assign tasks but also to praise the team members for their work. You can start each meeting with praise for employees who did the tasks well. Further, after the completion of the project, you can reward them by sending gifts or cash bonuses to show appreciation.
Rewarding your team members lets them know they are heading in the right direction, boosts their performance, and makes them enthusiastic about putting in a great effort.
Whether you hire an in-house software development team or build remote engineering teams, ensure that you have clearly defined the project requirements. It will help you shortlist and hire the best candidates according to their skill set and experience.
Engineering managers and tech leads play a crucial role in building, managing, and leading a software development team by inspiring them, setting a work procedure, making clear goals, and providing feedback. Further, use the above tips for managing development teams and building innovative and fully-functional solutions for your organization.