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Top 8 Strategies on How to Manage Developers Remotely

Top 8 strategies on how to manage developers remotely

How to manage remote developers in 2022? It is a question that every manager or business owner wants the answer to.

Even though the concept of remote work is not new, it took a pandemic for people to actually leverage its benefits. However, given the many benefits that remote work culture offers, managing a remote software development team can be a daunting task at times. In this blog, we have added a list of the top 8 strategies or tips on how to manage remote developers. So, if you're an employer struggling to efficiently supervise your distributed team, then this article is for you.

With the world going online, companies are now migrating their workloads to the cloud and embracing digital transformation. COVID-19 also significantly disrupted traditional working practices and pushed the digital transformation agenda ahead, which could have taken several years to actually come into practice. Digital transformation has also impacted how we work and has made remote staff possible for many companies. With the right tools and technology, companies can greatly profit from remote work culture. You get a greater talent pool, save office space costs, improved employee morale, better flexibility, enhanced productivity, less turnover, higher high job satisfaction, and reduced gas emission due to lack of commute.

With the world already littered with horror stories, there has been a systematic distrust among companies. But, a well-calculated strategy in place can do wonders for you. That's why in order to successfully manage a remote software development team, you must find more promising ways to ensure employee productivity such that you do not hinder your business growth.

As a company that advocates for remote work and has fully committed to integrating remote work culture within their organization, we have put together this blog.

Let’s get started!

How to manage remote developers?

With benefits such as lower costs and increased productivity comes the challenge such as not being able to see teammates in person and lack of constant interaction. To tackle such challenges go through the following steps and effectively leverage remote software development team members who are not on the same page with you.

1. Set clear expectations from the get-go

Remote developers are a great asset to a company, that’s why it is extremely crucial to effectively manage them in order to get the most out of it. Before taking any action, you must first analyze and gather key details about the projects that might include, the end result expectation and deliverable dates for key tasks. Determine specific and measurable goals and get a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish.

When you communicate your goals, objectives, and overall vision from the get-go then everyone knows what’s expected of them and what they’re supposed to do in order to accomplish the set goals.

You can consider documenting such expectations and sharing them with candidates when you are hiring for the remote software development team. This is a hassle-free way to easily communicate your expectations to your employees. It can also greatly assist in finding and hiring the right candidate who can put their best foot forward to meet the expectations of your company.

2. Establish a communication strategy and channel

Constant communication (that is not intruding) is the key to the successful management of your remote software development team. If you don’t want to lose time waiting for the response from your teammates, it is better to set up multiple communication channels. You can try chat applications such as Slack for regular and quick day-to-day communication and save emails and phone calls for more critical and important things.

Consider the following steps to maintain regular communication practice in place -

  • Keep regular stand-up meetings to keep track of the progress of the project that your remote software development team is working on.
  • Check-in from time to time to see if there are any bottlenecks or questions about the project.
  • Consider conducting monthly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss OKRs (objectives and key results), discuss any blockage and offer feedback. This makes sure all your team members are on the same page.
  • Make use of pictures, videos, graphs, and other engaging mediums to make sure all team members (technical and non-technical) understand what’s being discussed.

3. Make use of the right technology

The transition to remote teams and effectively managing can be daunting and frustrating at times. But with the right set of tools and technologies, it becomes much easier to bind your remote software development team and make sure they all work as one.

Consider investing in tools such as chat applications like Slack, video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet, and project management tools like Asana or Jira. Investing in such tools saves time and money on unnecessary meetings. Additionally, you can make use of some time zone management tools that offer detailed and clear time zone differences of your remote software development team. The best part about such tools is that you can efficiently schedule meetings that do not overlap with team members’ off time.

You can keep in touch with your teammates and work together if some of the team members are a part of different projects.

4. Avoid micromanagement

Micromanagement is one of the reasons why employees leave an organization. It plays a critical role in killing creativity and innovation, breeds mistrust, and causes undue stress and frustration among team members. Nobody likes to work with a “control freak” after all.

That’s why if you want to effectively manage your remote software development team, you should condemn micromanagement. Find better ways that set your team members up to succeed, allow them to make decisions, and grow and improve with the consequence.

One of the ways to build a healthier relationship is by talking to them. Be open to giving and receiving feedback as well, it encourages them to succeed. When you manage expectations rather than tasks, you get motivated and happy employees who deliver great work on time. So allows your remote software development team members the autonomy they deserve.

5. Contracts and NDAs are must-haves

There are high chances that your remote software development team needs to work with some confidential information during the life of the project. That’s why it is always important to keep a contract or a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) ready before you onboard someone on your team. The main intent behind the signing of an NDA or a contract is to protect shared and confidential data. This can prevent a breach of any disclosures and allows the aggrieved party to exercise their legal rights. It is also a sign of respect. When a professional signs an NDA, it means they respect your company and are ready to start a business relationship on the right foot.

If you don’t have any contracts or NDA in place, it can lead to exposure of confidential data, which could result in lost revenue, intellectual property rights, or other vital impacts that can be damaging to your business. Furthermore, without an NDA, you don’t have any legal right to ensure that consequences are imposed on the offender.

That’s why you should give utmost importance to creating such contracts and make sure you follow the following tips while doing so -

  • Ensure your NDA is clear and concise. It includes all the information regarding what data should be kept confidential.
  • Create boundaries by stating who owns what, what information can be shared, and how long the information should be confidential.
  • Mention you have legal protection and you can use it in case of any breach.

6. Support centralized and cloud-based workflow

Centralized and cloud-based workflow software solutions improve the accessibility that allows your remote software development team members to access the required systems whenever and wherever they need. It enables close collaboration on projects even when they can't have quick interaction in order to manage their work responsibilities. It makes remote team management easier.

Not only quick accessibility but also enables you to quickly scale and keep up with the growing demands of your company. It also assists you in accelerating the business by enabling you to move with more velocity. In case you’re a startup and want to launch new products or even strategies, centralized and cloud-based workflows can assist you in doing so with minimum compliance and financial risks. However, make sure to include strict security policies and follow data security compliances to ensure that certain employees only have access to the information they need to manage their work.

The future of remote work hinges on the cloud, so it is extremely necessary to invest in the cloud and support your growing remote workforce. Furthermore, instead of using cluttered cloud-based tools, you can make use of a unified digital workplace platform from which your teammates can access all the tools, data, and files through a centralized dashboard enabling only one source of truth.

7. Support Agile methodology

Agile workflow is the key to helping your remote software development team thrive. Agile allows you to break down your project goals into short iterations. These short iterations can then be delegated to your team members after establishing clear objectives and goals for what they need to work on and the delivery deadline.

When you focus more on small goals instead of bigger project goals, it becomes much easier to track everything and ensure on course to meet the final project deadlines. Additionally, in case of any bugs, you can make changes in real-time without actually affecting the timeline of the overall project.

Here’s a list of ways in which Agile methodology can help your remote team grow -

  • You plan and establish clear milestones for each short iteration called sprints which means each member of your team is informed of the goals, expectations, and timelines for every task from the get-go.
  • Agiles eliminates the need for keeping unnecessary meetings and instead enables you to conduct regular stand-up meetings. Wherein, each member is expected to “stand up” and share progress updates about the tasks that they’re working on.
  • Agile also promises flexibility and higher collaboration while ensuring you get the work done within the project timeline.
  • It also minimizes the risk of failure such as investment risks to productivity risks, by getting rid of communication gaps and expectation differences.

8. Don’t overlook DEI strategies

It is extremely crucial to not ignore DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategies and overlook cultural and language barriers. When you bring diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives into your workplace, you get improved productivity and better financial results. A team with diverse talents who bring in broader knowledge, experience, and expertise automatically drive innovation and set your business for success.

You can follow the following steps to infuse DEI into your organization’s DNA -

  • Analyze your current status concerning DEI strategies already in place.
  • Communicate the identified gaps with your stakeholders early.
  • Make sure to answer questions such as Why now? Why such an approach? How can it benefit the organization?
  • Include the return on investment benefit of DEI.
  • Set measurable goals and integrate your strategy with other initiatives like employee retention or capturing a new market.
  • Focus on sustainable change to drive better business outcomes.

Conclusion

As hard as it can be to work with remote software development teams, a well-planned strategy can make your life easier. Follow the above-mentioned steps and effectively manage your teams remotely.

There may be times when these tips might not work, then the only way forward is to be more creative and find other ways to motivate your remote team. There are always two sides to everything, but in the end, what matters is whether you gave it your best shot. That’s why always put your best foot forward and strive to do better when managing your remote software development teams.

Are you looking to hire remote software developers to be a part of your development team?

Turing.com is a one-of-a-kind platform that can assist you in sourcing, vetting, matching, and managing the world’s best remote developers. Its AI-backed Intelligent Cloud System ensures you get a professional who is tailored to your requirements.

Join Turing and get pre-vetted remote senior developers who are ready to work in your time zone at half the price!

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