How to Manage Remote Teams of Developers. Breaking 11 Common Myths
Geographically distributed teams is the driving force behind nearshoring services that complements the performance of in-house employees. A remote software engineer requires proper tasks coordination and management to fulfill the needs of both parties. Many corporations are doubting the decision to hire remote developers as they do not consider this practice as a profitable investment and, more so, believe that in-house teams can be managed much easier. With this in mind, we decided to spell out how to manage remote teams and break 11 common myths to stamp out the headaches.
Breaking 11 Common Myths Regarding How to Manage a Remote Team
1. Disconnection Can’t Be Managed
Myth. Probably one of the most disturbing and doubting points for a company that wants to hire a remote development team is distance as the cause of controlling power. They have worries about a team being disconnected from the in-house employees, managers, and other crucial team members.
Truth. Disconnection can occur with in-house staff too, isn’t it? If the company does not make efforts to create a healthy corporate culture, satisfy their professional needs, and provide feedback, they will most likely lose their talents.
Our Solution. Even at a distance, it is possible to handle collaboration with your remote teams – in Mobilunity, we offer our clients to set a feedback-based communication model when the team constantly reports on each stage of the project’s development. Such an approach allows you to sustain your on-site corporate managerial philosophy to distributed staff.
2. Failed Role Duties Delivery
Myth. This myth is mostly applicable to clients who are working with remote teams that include people of different specialization – developers, consultants, CTOs (Chief Technical Officers), and other employees. They have fears that there is no guarantee that each member will deliver the duties on time and according to the goals.
Truth. While the role of developers is mostly related to coding, consultants and CTOs have more multitasking and diversified duties to perform and report. In fact, most CEOs believe that the team’s integration and alignment directly affect the outcome of any project. It means that the better the roles of each member are fulfilled, the more likely the end result will be just as expected.
Our Solution. To prevent from stifling progress, some of our clients apply OKR strategy, which has become a common practice for businesses. Quarterly objectives and key results approach will frame the results of your remote team, and, if these outcomes will adhere to the overall company’s operations, you can prove how a drop in the sea forms the ocean.
3. They Work Less Compared to In-House Employees
Myth. When a remote programmer does not have day-to-day real collaboration with the employer, he/she has more freedom on time-management and task priority setting. They will finish the tasks with delays that will slow down all other further project’s stages of development.
Truth. Based on the principles of remote development, you can either have full control (nearshoring) of the project and team management or put these responsibilities on a vendor (outsourcing). Therefore, in order to choose the model that works best for you, consider the following: if you don’t possess a rich tech expertise – it’s better to relocate your project to an outsourcing vendor, and if your technical background is upscale – hire a dedicated development team to have more control and avoid third-party risks.
Our Solution. In Mobilunity, we recommend our clients to plan visits every 2 months and work side-by-side with their remote dedicated development team for a couple of days. However, for your comfortable cooperation, our developers are operating through task tracking applications where you can see the actual workflow day-by-day.
4. Cultural Gap, Time Zone Difference, Language Barriers
Myth. Undoubtedly, employees of one nationality and culture are sometimes hard to manage even in the in-house environment. But when it comes to managing distributed teams, they grew up with different life philosophies, with English as their second language, so miscommunication can occur.
Truth. Cultural differences mainly refer to employees’ ethical and moral standards in the working environment, thus, they may have ideas and views that considerably differ from yours. Due to negligence to cultural borders, 69% of outsourcing clients overcome failures. Adding time zones difference only adds fuel to fire when you can’t agree on the best time gaps for meetings.
Our Solution. In Mobilunity, our Resource Managers keep an eye on the development of relationships between the client and developers. They organize pizza parties, sports events, and other informal activities to bring them together, support their communication, and get to know each other better. The developers are offered language courses to communicate with the clients on the same level.
5. Staff Turnover Is More Likely to Occur
Myth. Since you don’t have too much face-to-face interaction while working with remote teams, you may not be sure when the turning point for them to leave occurs.
Truth. Even if you have full management of your team members, there are still some weaknesses which are hard to detect on distance, such as overall team spirit, what motivates them on a daily basis, satisfaction from the project they are developing, the technical stack they are operating on, and interaction with other team members.
Our Solution. Retention is one of the integral steps on how to manage a remote team. One of the driving slogans within Mobilunity is retention, where our team applies numerous approaches to make employees’ workplace comfortable, healthy, and friendly. The Resource Managers collect feedback from the developers to analyze their satisfaction, conduct personal meetings with clients and remote teams to oversee their collaboration, consider developers’ needs regarding salary raise or office perks, and create corporate culture to prevent employees from professional burnout. Your part in retaining the developers is to be ready for innovative approaches, meaning no fear in switching to up-to-date technologies. Moreover, do not shun the step of awarding your developers with salary raise or promotion or positive feedback to make them feel valuable and complete staff members.
6. Finding Remote Dedicated Development Team Isn’t an Easy Task
Myth. These days, the IT outsourcing market is flooded by vendors providing their services to hire remote developers.They offer you attractive terms and conditions, cost-saving benefits, world-class quality, and other guarantees to meet your expectations from remote team collaboration.
Truth. Since the Information and Communication Technology market is extremely demanding and the pool of talents is growing, still, companies face a challenge of finding the ones for particular projects. Moreover, you may not be sure if their salary expectations will match your opportunities.
Our Solution. The recruitment process to find candidates is a notorious and time-consuming process, but, for recruiters in Mobilunity, it takes about 2-3 weeks to find several developers and present them to the client. We do understand that clients may reject some candidates, so no fees are taken on this stage of cooperation. Another thing to consider is the labor market capacity while selecting your IT destination. Let’s take Estonia: Information and Communication Technology sector employs around 37,000 citizens, while Ukraine has a talent pool of about 200,000. Obviously you would want to have a broader choice to make sure you have enough candidates to consider.
7. Resolving the Obstacles Without Consequences Is Close to Zero
Myth. During the project execution, both in-house or remote teams occasionally may encounter troublesome situations. However, in comparison to inhouse employees, when you can easily schedule a live meeting to discuss the pitfalls, with remote developers it takes time and patience.
Truth. All communication is mainly done through email, messengers, and task trackers. So the team, especially if the time gap is considerable, is forced to resolve the issues without your involvement. Eventually, their decisions may sometimes not match with your vision.
Our Solution. In order to prevent technical or other obstacles, Mobilunity always insists on creating a development roadmap and breaking the project into small tasks. Dividing the project cycle into several branches will allow your team to move on with other tasks while a problematic one will be put on hold. Mobilunity suggests our client utilizing Agile methodologies, like Scrum, for projects that are broken into sprints. Such tools allow developers to list their tasks, prioritize in a backlog, and mark the stages of completing those; they schedule daily sync ups to discuss the tasks and make sure that everything goes as planned.
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8. Team Interaction Can Be Lost
Myth. Another big concern of companies is how to build a team and maintain its interaction with in-house team members.
Truth. Often, the processes of remote development teams are interconnected with the operations of in-house employees. However, due to the distance, it might be difficult to embrace the collaboration of both teams.
Our Solution. In order to bring remote and in-house teams together, we offer our clients to organize a live onboarding session to introduce newcomers. Since a personal connection is vital for employees, it is always a good idea to bring remote workers to the client’s head office once in a while for weekly business trips. Such an approach allows you to get your teams closer to each other, thus, common goals will be achieved with much more efficiency.
9. Challenges Lead to Failure
Myth. Long-term remote web development that contains numerous convoluted tasks, might end up being too stressful and overwhelming for your distributed team.
Truth. A big number of daily tasks, tough deadlines, regular testings, and maintenance issues may lead to developers’ depletion, which eventually leads to failed deadlines and breakdowns. Developers may face challenges if a client uses legacy technologies, thus, the process of project completion can be delayed.
Our Solution. Mobilunity is highly concerned about maintaining the overall project workflow to meet the client’s expectations and, at the same time, supporting the developers in disturbing matters. We encourage our clients to consider developers’ initiative concerning the use of emerging technologies to facilitate the performance of employees and develop a product with distinctive features.
10. Low Quality of Services
Myth. It is a common stereotype that cost-saving services are less likely to bring you the expected adequate quality. When you hire a remote development team, you expect to get the on-point quality of software development; however, you don’t want to be too pushy and force your team to provide feedback on every step they take.
Truth. You believe that pressuring your employees leads to their stress that affects their overall performance. While in-house developers interact with you daily, managing distributed teams in terms of quality of coding is an issue.
Our Solution. With this in mind, Mobilunity carefully analyzes each candidate, such as their experience, hard and soft skills, educational background, according to the requirements of your candidate profile.
In order to shortlist candidates, our recruiting team conducts an internal interview assessing his/her experience, soft-skills and language proficiency. After having a tech interview with the client the candidate may be asked to perform a test task to be 100% sure that he/she is a match.
11. They Can Lose Motivation
Myth. The aspect of losing motivation depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the project, tech stack used, employer’s involvement. However, on-site employees are facing such stages of the working process as well. The process of maintaining developers’ motivation is much easier than getting it back aboard.
Truth. Remote developers start losing motivation for several reasons: they do not receive enough support from their client, they do not receive feedback on the quality of their services, or simply because they do not feel the value of their input.
Our Solution. Our developers won’t lack motivation and overall spirit if they see your devotion and open-door strategy in terms of communication. When communication in many ways is prioritized from your side, the dedication of staff members is guaranteed. With an immense experience of providing nearshoring services for 40+ clients all over the world, we know how to establish excellent communication between the client and team, solve the challenges, and prevent risks. Our top management constantly keeps in touch with the clients in terms of consulting on the most common issues to make sure that the team meets their expectations.
Does Managing Remote Staff Still Sound Complicated?
Working with remote developers requires both parties to be attentive, supportive, responsible, and keep in close contact while collaborating at a distance. Mobilunity’s recruitment team will provide you with seasoned specialists to make sure your expectations on the quality of services are met; language courses for employees to avoid the pitfalls of miscommunication; healthy and well-equipped office space to maintain a healthy environment. We always approach team management with mindfulness and inform you of your team’s needs, concerns, anxieties. Mobilunity software developers are not afraid of challenges and deliver exemplary performance according to your goals. Not only we are willing to be on the loop regarding developers, but we also provide assistance to our clients if any steps towards improving the cooperation should be taken.