How To Manage Remote Developers
Managing remote teams requires clear communication, a project management methodology and PM tools to help your team succeed
Table of Contents:
Hiring remote developers provides a variety of benefits for both you and your team. Remote employees enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere with the internet and by opening employment up to remote team members you can access top development talent from both near and far. If you only plan to become a remote worker, here are some tips for you to find a remote job. But let's get back to business. There are a few unique challenges that come with managing remote teams.
How To Manage Remote Developers?
Your remote team can be just as productive as your onsite team, sometimes more. The key is in setting up a solid foundation and supportive training, project management, and communication tools. While you need to do the same with your onsite team, communication is even more essential for your remote management strategy. This 7 step process can help.
Define Your Values And Mission
Beyond your company values and mission, you should have a team or project values and mission, which are aligned with company objectives and company agile approach. Regarding project management, it should include things such as communication, transparency, accountability, trust, and integrity.
Set Clear Goals For Your Remote Team
Your goals need to be clear, specific, measurable, assigned and scheduled. Everyone needs to know what they are responsible for each day or week so that accountability is in place. If your roles, assignments, and goals are not clear and specific your team may invest their time in the wrong place. Create a shared calendar that the entire team can access so everyone knows who is responsible for each segment.
Invest In A Remote Management Process And Learning Center
It’s never been easier to train your team with modern education technology solutions! While skilled as developers you must utilize a project management methodology, such as Scrum. You need to be trained in how to manage your team in your PM method, and your team needs to be trained in your PM method and framework. Don’t forget ongoing IT and development training. Training can be completed online or in person. With the variety of online training tools (beyond PM and IT skills), you can also personalize training to help the individual team member improve in their areas of opportunity.
Managing Remote Teams Requires The Right Tools
Invest in or build project management software that supports your preferred PM methodology. In addition to using project management software, you will need a few remote management tools that enable you to video chat, share documents, track time, message in real-time, and more.
Sync With Your Team Regularly
You can email or instant message your team anytime, but you must also schedule team conference calls and one-on-one calls. For example, you might do a quick daily conference with the entire team, and a weekly call with individual team members. Or you may only conference with the entire team on Monday and Friday. This is your opportunity to ask questions, gain project insights, discuss roadblocks and bottlenecks, celebrate achievements, discuss areas of opportunity, and more. Just remember, constructive feedback for individual team members is best shared privately and via a phone or video conference—not an email as it’s tough to decipher tone in writing.
Build A Community
Even though many developers prefer to work solo you don’t want your team members to feel disconnected. To build a community you must take the time to connect and engage in ways that are a bit more personal. This could be having a separate non-work related group chat where you share IT articles and memes. Celebrating team birthdays and anniversaries. Engaging in a bit of personal chat and remembering the little details like the name and age of team members’ kids. The goal is to ensure your team knows they are valued, not just a worker bee. And here you can find the best tools for team communication.
Focus On Plans And Achievements
Trust your team to do what they do best and listen when they share innovative new ideas. While you have clearly defined and measurable goals, many development projects are ongoing. Focus your communication heavily on plans and achievements to help keep conversations organized and team members on track. As each milestone is complete cheer on and celebrate with your team.
Here’s to taking your remote management skills to the next level!