Remote cooperation has become a new normal, and the fastest growth in remote work has been in computer-related occupations. Currently, one of the ways to grow your team and expand your software development capabilities with a reliable tech partnership is by hiring remote software developers. You can find a well-versed and well-constructed team within one software company or construct a group of specialists unknown to each other. In any case, you need to know how to manage them from a long distance to complete projects successfully and on time.
Consider these ways and rules to build a remote software development team and manage it from any spot.
How to Build a Remote Development Team?
1. Create a detailed and engaging job offer.
We guess you want to find high-performance remote software developers, not anyone free now. Thus, you should present the company’s profile, a list of exact duties and requirements, the project’s highlights, and anything you suppose critical for candidates to know.
2. Look for people within your network.
Recruiting people in the IT industry means having at least a LinkedIn profile or service user base. Besides, skilled people are everywhere, so word-of-mouth is worth running too.
3. Automate the selection process.
You will get many responses because the market of remote software developers is thriving now. We advise creating a rejection template for those who are definitely not compatible. It saves your time and helps you to remain polite. You never know what your next project will be and what people you’ll need from your service user base.
4. Get in touch with the selected candidates.
A direct interview is required to understand the communication skills, detailed experience, and cultural fit. The interview process should include a brief introduction, specific skills questionnaire, a test task (optional), and tech skills interview.
5. Organize an interview with your team.
You must ensure your in-house team is content with the finalized candidate or the entire remote software team. Firstly, the team feels like part of the recruiting process. Secondly, the candidate feels like being a part of something big. Lastly, the approved candidate will be later integrated into the team at ease.
6. Offer the position and complete all formalities.
After your team approves the candidate, it is high time to make an offer. Make sure to maintain a waiting list in case of denial, keep in contact until the joining day, and never believe the recruitment process is closed after the offer is accepted. At long last, they might not pass the trial period.
How to Manage Remote Software Developers?
After you’ve got your international team, you want to know how to manage all inner processes to keep things efficient and projects done. The harsh truth is that you are the biggest bottleneck when you’re heading the remote software development team. Managing everybody’s tasks and keeping them on track goes along with all their questions to be answered and issues to be resolved.
The secret to successfully managing a remote development team is to remove yourself as much as possible by empowering your team members to solve their own problems.
This concept stems from many individual agents who need to take action relying on a simple set of rules. Thus, they don’t have to be micromanaged by a central coordinator. Setting specific rules allows the team members to function autonomously and create a result that’s more than just the sum of its parts.
9 Simple Rules for Remote Software Team Self-Organization
1. One record per user story.
Every feature developer wants to add to a client’s app needs to have one user story in the work management system the team uses (Trello, Jira, etc.).
2. Attach everything to the user story.
If team members have mock-ups related to the user story, they attach them. If they have comments or discussions, they attach them. Again, if they have backend/frontend code questions, they attach them to the user story. Thus, you can observe all issues online from your location.
3. Create a simple workflow with the order of tasks.
Every app needs certain steps to be done to complete its development. Here is an example of a winning app workflow (order of tasks for one user story) to follow after the user story is created:
Wireframe → Wireframe approval → Mock-up → Mockup Approval → Back-end Development → Front-end development → Integration → Automated Unit Testing → Functional Testing → Customer Acceptance Testing → Deployment.
4. Build a simple Kanban Board.
To follow the team’s workflow, you need to build that workflow into a simple tool that will allow the team to create a Kanban Board. It consists of columns for each step in the flow and cards/records in each column, which you can track remotely.
5. Focus on stories in your column.
For example, the developer is assigned to do the back-end development for the project. To perform successfully, he needs to look and focus ONLY on stories from his columns.
6. Move the story to the right after it’s done.
When team members finish their work, they need to move their story to the columns on the right into the next person’s columns. Thus, other members see it finished to interact with the completed part appropriately.
7. Move the story to the left when you lack info.
When developers don’t have enough data or requirements for their task, they should move the story back to the left. Thus, the previous person who’s supposed to provide you with the info can react and send everything required. Besides, the team head can see all these changes in user stories and research for necessary info to avoid any delays.
8. Ask the right person.
Developers should ask questions and get input or feedback from the person who can answer their questions. It saves much time and creates no “Chinese whispers”.
9. Inform the leader, involve when needed.
Developers don’t have to contact the team lead every single time they get stuck with some step. It doesn’t mean cutting off the leader or project manager, but it’s a more balanced approach to ask people nearby for necessary info, not waiting until someone from another time zone responds.
Building up a remote team means meeting different time zones, working styles, or work cultures. Effective communication and clear leadership is your way to a productive, proactive, and progressive remote software team.
The self-organization rules are not the only rules to follow, and they will evolve around your specific team, project, and circumstances. The ultimate rule is to define rules that work best for your remote software development team. Managing developers is not about applying a rigid set of best practices from the most prominent speakers. Managing developers is about listening to your people and adapting regulations around specific projects and remote circumstances.
If you want to cooperate with a team experienced in remote work peculiarities, feel welcomed to contact us and develop rules for our distant but successful cooperation.