How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team?

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It is very crucial to build a remote team of developers in the modern software development industry to reduce the development cost and improve the project efficiency. There are many benefits of hiring a remote development team, especially in the domain of software development; let’s have a look at the benefits of a remote team and how to manage a remote team more effectively to achieve the desired business bottom line.

Importance of Remote Team Management

In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, the development cost, fast delivery, quick release cycle, and high quality of the code are very critical for sustainable business competitiveness in the market. To achieve all those objectives, enterprises started hiring and managing a remote team of developers.

The following points highlight the importance of an effective remote team management system:

  • Reduced conflicts
  • Improved cohesiveness
  • High level of motivation
  • Transparent communication
  • Increased efficiency
  • Congenial work environment

However, the effective team management for a remotely located team is very difficult as compared to the local team management, but due to many good reasons, the companies choose to hire a remote team of developers. The main reasons for hiring a remote team include the following:

  • Finding the right talent without any limitation of geography and location
  • Lowering the development cost by benefiting from the low price markets
  • Meeting market challenges to remain competitive, such as quick time to market and a fast release cycle
  • Effective use of multiple time zones for the increased productive time
  • Benefiting from new ideas, innovation and composite cultures from across the globe

Alongside the upsides of hiring a remote team of developers, there are certain problems in managing the remote teams as discussed next.

Main Issues in Managing a Remote Team efficiently

Managing the remote teams properly is a big challenge in itself and needs a detailed planning and robust mechanism. There are many issues that pose a great challenge to resolve for a better management of a remote team.

A few very important issues and challenges faced by the team managers to effectively manage their remote team include:

  • Poor Communication: In remote team management the most fundamental problem that managers face is the poor communication issue. There are many factors that directly or indirectly result in poor communication, such as different time zones, different languages, communication network efficiency, cost of communication and others.
  • Lack of Cohesion & Trust: Remote teams are located in different parts of the world and come from different backgrounds. It is very difficult to understand and assess the frame of mind and personal behavior of those team members easily. So, the lack of cohesion and trust between the team members is also a big problem.
  • Diverse Cultures and Language Barriers: This is another critical issue that hinders the proper management of a remote team. The team members come from different cultures and speak different languages; it is very difficult to bring them on a common platform where every person can easily understand and respect the other team members.
  • Collaboration & Scheduling Issues: As a team located in different time zones and influenced by the poor communication problem, it becomes very challenging to collaborate and schedule the tasks immediately so that a clear picture of the project status can be achieved instantly.
  • Embracing Company Work Culture: It is a big problem to bring the entire team to the in-house work culture of the company for that the entire team works together. Every team member comes from different work environments and follows different working patterns, which should be streamlined into the mainstream work culture of the company.

There are also some other issues in managing the remote team effectively, such as internal team relationship, separate time zones, low level of motivation and career development incentives.

Useful Tips to Manage Remote Team Effectively

Once you choose to build a remote team, it has to be managed in the right way. A proper policy based on the professional assessment of the entire team should be devised for the better management of a remote of developers. A few very useful tips should also be strictly followed not only in the team management policies but also in day to day interactions and activities. A few of these useful tips are given below:

  • Figure out the fixed overlapped hours when the entire team can communicate and meet
  • Make it mandatory for all employees to gather through video communication at the overlapped time
  • The entire meeting proceedings should be recorded and made available for everybody for future reference
  • Use a common and live communication channel or room where everybody can leave comment or issue for resolution when the concerned person is available to respond
  • Always use screen sharing tools for better collaboration and understanding
  • Innovative ideas and creativity should be encouraged and appreciated publicly
  • Project goals, deadlines, responsibilities and expected results should be clearly presented to the entire team as well as to the individual member of the team
  • Use time tracking software that takes random screenshots to assess the performance and work hours spent on that particular task
  • Clearly, present the work culture of your company to everybody on the team and encourage to follow the culture strictly
  • Always spare some time on weekends for online recreation among the team, such as gaming, chatting, singing and other such activities for keeping them connected
  • Always listen to the problems and comments of the employees carefully and respond to those issues sincerely to make him/her feel valued and properly heard.
  • Always use incentives and rewards for better performance

If you follow the above mentioned useful tips in your team management process, you would be able to manage your remote team more effectively and efficiently.

Final Takeaway

No doubt, there are many great benefits of hiring geographically and culturally diverse teams of high talent from all over the world, but it is very difficult to manage those remote teams more effectively as compared to the local teams.

The proper implementation of the best industry practices and useful tips to manage the remote can overcome those problems related to remote team management.

Published by Kidal Delonix (930 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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