Effective Management Over a Remote Product Development Team

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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote interaction between employees and employers has become the norm and not only an option among many existing ones. Moreover, even after the lifting of quarantine restrictions, this approach to cooperation has become quite popular due to its economic efficiency and a number of other factors. However, this economic efficiency is achieved only with proper management. We will tell you in detail below about how to implement it.

10 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

So, what are these “magic” tips for remote development teams management? Let’s take a look at each of them.

Determine the best channels for interaction

To make your remote interaction productive, you need to choose digital communication tools that are convenient for you and your team. The basic set includes a tool for video and audio calls, a messenger with group chats, and a project management system. However, depending on the specifics of your business activities, you may also need additional solutions that will provide centralized access to all members of your remote software development team to the up-to-date data that they may need in their work. These solutions can be Google Drive, One Drive, shared repositories, etc.

Set clear goals

Your employees must understand what you expect from them and, in particular, what should be the results of their work. To do this, it is important for you to assign clear tasks to each of your team members and set deadlines for their completion. Also, your subordinates may have regular duties that they must perform throughout their work within your company. And, of course, every time when you set a new task, you have to make sure that all the goals are understood by your employees correctly and that they know exactly what skills and tools they will need to use to achieve them.

Ensure effective communication between team members

When it comes to project teams, they are usually cross-functional, that is, each of their members has skills that go beyond their direct specialization. This team structure helps to achieve the set goals effectively and, at the same time, requires closer interaction between team members, which can be difficult to achieve in a remote format. To meet this challenge when managing a development team, you will need to put in some effort to organize distance events that will help your employees get to know each other better and rally towards a common goal.

Provide your team members with all resources and tools they need for work

Also, you should make sure that all members of remote software teams have access to resources that can help them in their work. These can be educational materials, a list of standards to which the results of their work must comply, examples of work, etc. In addition, your subordinates must have the software and hardware necessary to perform their work tasks and be able to use them to the extent that they can cope with these tasks without hitches and delays.

Choose a flexible work schedule

Remote work usually implies a fairly flexible work schedule for your remote development team members. Think about how you can provide them with this, besides taking into account the mandatory rallies and phone calls that must be made at a fixed time. Also, you will have to keep in your mind the different time zones that individual members of your team may be in and the holidays that correspond to the countries where they are located.

Pick convenient reporting tools

The remote format of interaction often provides for increased trust between team members. Indeed, it is much easier to manage employees from one office to be sure that the work assigned to them will be delivered on time and of the proper quality. That's why you need to be really confident in who you're collaborating with from a distance. At the same time, software reporting tools can help you unobtrusively monitor the performance of each of your remote development team members without unnecessary phone calls and requiring them to build reports manually. As the simplest tool, Google spreadsheet reports also can be used.

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Reward your employees for their achievements

When managing development teams, don't forget to reward your employees for increased productivity and the quality of tasks they perform. This will stimulate them to develop their skills in the right direction and show even better results than ever before. As a reward, you can use cash bonuses, as well as career advancement, with the prospect of a salary increase. Note that this will have a positive effect not only on individually encouraged team members but also on other employees, as they will get the additional motivation to do their job better and better.

Let your employees balance their work and personal lives effectively

You must understand that it is much more difficult for remote employees to maintain an optimal balance between personal life and work than in the case when they work in the office. The fact is that the vast majority of them do not work in coworking locations or in cafes but at home, so they can perform their work tasks for the whole day. As a result, at long distances, such a remote product management approach can bring serious disruption to their family life, which will result in a sharp decrease in their work productivity. To prevent this from happening, give your team members the opportunity to relax outside of working hours without burdening them with work-related messages (and even more so, do not abuse them for overtime tasks). In this way, you will create a healthy working atmosphere in your team and allow your employees to feel good throughout the entire process of working on a project.

Introduce in-corporate culture

The adoption of a common corporate culture is a very good product manager remote approach for the improvement of the productivity of interaction with a team. This can be both holding joint events (this is especially true for those teams that are located in the same city) or regular congratulations on holidays with the help of gifts containing corporate symbols. Another great practice is to create a separate chat room for informal conversations, where your employees will be able to exchange funny memes or discuss current events within the limits of those that are permissible (usually, discussions about politics or religion are best avoided). Therefore, you will create additional points of contact between your team members in the most enjoyable way for them.

Encourage your employees to socialize

Finally, you will need to think about how to ensure that working remotely does not make your team members feel isolated from society. Otherwise, it may have a positive effect on their mental state and make further cooperation with them impossible. Therefore, since the work team is the most likely source for new social connections, you can use this to the benefit of your employees. In particular, if you notice that your individual team members are more comfortable communicating with their specific colleagues, try to form working subteams in such a way that this liking will be taken into account. Thus, you will make their workflow not only more enjoyable but also provide a positive influence on the results and speed of collaboration.

Final Thoughts

When you manage remote teams, you may face some specific nuances, but if it is performed correctly, it can bring many more benefits than in the case of an in-office team – from reducing overhead costs to giving more freedom to your subordinates. In particular, if you follow the above rules, you will be able to achieve the best performance for your project team with minimal effort. If you want to have an almost autonomous team that does not need to be managed and which, at the same time, can guarantee the high quality of the tasks performed, feel free to contact us.

FAQ

The basic set of digital communication tools for managing a remote development team includes video and audio call tools, messengers with group chats, and project management systems. Depending on the specifics of the business activities, additional solutions may also be needed to provide centralized access to up-to-date data for team members.

Clear tasks with deadlines should be assigned to each team member, and regular duties should be communicated clearly. It is important to ensure that all goals are understood correctly by employees and that they have the necessary skills and tools to achieve them. Regular communication and clarification of expectations are key to setting clear goals for remote employees.

Remote employees should be given the opportunity to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Avoid burdening them with work-related messages outside of working hours and refrain from assigning overtime tasks. Creating a healthy working atmosphere and allowing employees to relax outside of working hours can help prevent disruptions to their personal life and maintain their work productivity.

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