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How to Build a Successful Remote Development Team

remote IT team

A remote workforce is expected to hold around 73% of all departments by 2028. Hence, the trend for hiring remote experts raises essential questions about software development management. How do you stay in touch with your employee, inspire them to unleash their professional potential and trace the progress wisely? In this post, we shed light on these inquiries to guide you through different phases of remote development. But first, let us consider the primary benefits of the approach. 

Top reasons to hire remote development team

Apart from the most obvious advantage of this mode of work – cost-effectiveness, the approach can boast multiple additional perks: 

Thanks to the multitude of communication tools available, you can onboard the most promising and efficient employees from around the world. No matter which time zone your staff members work in, you can eliminate the drawbacks of time difference by applying online management tools. 

If you have ambitions for your business to grow, the remote development team will ideally respond to your needs. To scale your team, you need to hire remote experts from different parts of the world and teach them how to work together coherently. To do the same in-office, more time and financial resources are required. 

Successful software development management enables employees to work more productively in remote settings. The flexible working hours encourage experts to manage their time better, attain professional tasks and prevent burnout. 

Bringing together professionals with different backgrounds enables companies to reach a new level of creativity—creating collaborative settings online inevitably expands the possibilities of the traditional, in-office approach. 

remote team of developers

How do you find and onboard new members of your remote team?

Where do you search for specialists to work on remote software development? First, you can look at different thematic platforms like FlexJobs, RemoteOK, or WeWorkRemotely. Additionally, many job opportunities are highlighted on Indeed.com and Hired.com. To find a candidate with high qualifications and motivation to grow as your business evolves, you should take the following steps:

Offline meetings are the best way to evaluate candidates based on their English proficiency and problem-solving skills. Regarding Project Managers or Business Development Managers, it is especially worthwhile to meet with them in person to observe how they communicate verbally and nonverbally. When you find appealing candidates, feel free to book their time for the first business meeting. 

If you have little to no experience in coding, it is better to hire the Head of Tech, who will help you with the technical part of the decision-making and evaluation of code. If you hire remote employees for remote software development, they might be already involved in other projects. Thus, the CTO will assist employees to improve the quality of work, if needed. 

Without comprehensive product documentation, it is hard to establish a clear product vision. We advise you to create most of the design documents on the client’s side to obtain more control over this phase of development. The step will also help your team to work in trial mode and evaluate the commitment of all team members. 

If your staff members work in different time zones, it is necessary to define their most productive hours and give employees more flexibility for the sake of better results. Try not to elongate online meetings, and give your programmers more time to focus on their current tasks. 

How to manage a software development project: the short answer is “Get flexible!” If a remote developer finds it hard to accomplish the goal, your next move should be to identify the obstacle, eliminate it or help the team member look at the problem from a different angle. Providing documents and necessary instruments for tackling the task is no less important. 

Primary challenges of cooperating with a remote software development team and possible solutions

cooperation with IT company

In remote work format, one of the primary issues is helping the team members manage their work times. Accordingly, the issue of how to control your team’s progress arises. 

Solution. Start by defining and agreeing on expectations and goals for the project and then assign critical tasks to your team. The next step is to provide developers with project marketing software, proven to trace and facilitate progress efficiently. The work of team management in software engineering implies establishing an efficient communication strategy to foster a constant dialogue between programmers. Don’t underrate the importance of timely check-ins to trace the performance at different phases of development. 

Another acute problem is insufficient management or a lack of access control, which may lead to security breaches. Remote work requires even more diligent protection of vulnerable data. 

Solution. Reliable authentication measures and data encryption are required when time-sensitive information is transferred online. No less importantly, your system needs to possess a set of instruments for data protection, including the tools to detect data integrity breaks. All remote workers must be aware of the primary techniques that help safeguard confidential data: VPNs and strong passwords. 

Remote work encourages team leaders to improve the coherency of the team and search for innovative and convenient instruments to streamline work processes. Software development management prioritises the contribution of each team member to the overall workflow. 

Solution. First, leaders and managers need to map out the core instruments for a collaborative environment. These tools encompass collaboration apps, whiteboards with easy access, and video conferencing tools. Another important part is conducting regular brainstorming sessions online using the selected tools. 

Remote work often presupposes differences in time zones. Thus, successful management and tracing the progress can be complicated by that. However, these difficulties can be eliminated easily by setting robust work strategies. 

Solution. As mentioned already, transparent and clear communication is a must. All stakeholders need to possess detailed instructions on tasks to prevent any confusion. Feedback is also significant for unleashing the professional potential of team members: for a long-term partnership, each employee’s individual skills have to evolve continuously. Another tip is to divide large-scale tasks into smaller chunks. Writing down a list of doable and measurable tasks will help staff members tackle their tasks without feeling drained or overwhelmed. Lastly, team leaders need to examine which areas or work can be automated carefully; for instance, automating bug tracking, deployment, or code reviews can lead to significant time savings.

Building a team culture is especially relevant for remote teams, as in this format of cooperation, building trust and creating a sense of bond between team members is considerably more complicated. How to build a software development team? Let us give you some practical advice. 

Solution. The first and simplest step is to set up a team meeting to encourage your team members to get to know each other in informal settings. Virtual social events are relatively easy to organise; for instance, you may gather people online for movie nights, happy hours or game nights. After establishing a solid base of communication instruments, you can also assign group projects to your staff members – they can learn from each other to develop professionally. If you emphasise the professional growth of newly hired employees, conduct mentorship sessions, which help newcomers to onboard and define their long-term goals for the current positions. Cross-team collaborations are the next step for joining your corporate forces – working together allows specialists from different departments to build trust and coherency within the team. 

How to manage a software development team: most versatile instruments

the team of remote IT specialists

The list of most widely acknowledged tools is the following:

  1. Time doctor. The instrument aims to track the time of projects and ensure the visibility of work processes. Hence, team leaders can get insights into staff members’ productivity and overall activity. 
  2. Slack. The system embodies file-sharing tools, instant messaging and other communication tools. Team members can easily exchange feedback or solve errors at any given time. 
  3. Asana. The solution encompasses multiple instruments for software development management: team leaders assign tasks to employees or departments and trace their activity until the task is finished. 
  4. Basecamp. Likewise, Basecamp is the project management system that enables team leaders to track the completion of tasks and notify employees of what they need to accomplish at every phase of the process. 
  5. Trello. The system is distinctive because of its intuitive and user-friendly interface, allowing for the organisation of multiple projects with the help of creative cards. Trello can also be utilised for the purposes of developer management when initially, programmers need to work on a project individually and then join their resources for a big project. 

Hire remote development team! PNN Soft is a reliable partner in remote development

Our experts prioritise meeting the long-term needs of our clients and continuous communication across different specialists. Remote teams areone of the leading directions of work for our agency: the team leaders constantly hone their professional expertise and soft skills. We also monitor innovative IT trends and strengthen our solutions with cutting-edge technologies, such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Blockchain.

If your current goal is to onboard new members – outsourced programmers or dedicated teams – feel free to reach out to the PNN Soft team. Software development management with the end client in mind is our top priority.