It's the time when virtual teams are gaining huge prominence in the business world. These virtual teams are made up of people grouped together using electronic means to interact with each member having an independent business task to accomplish. Now the main attribute of a team is that they work collaboratively and as the team's manager this is certainly a challenging job.
Now as you manage a team of developers working remotely this could be a difficult thing to do. After all, there are various team members working all around the world and in different time zones. This is why managing such team is quite complicated as compared to managing one or more freelancers.
Here we discuss ways to get them to work efficiently and effectively:
Generate Opportunities for Discussion: As working collaboratively, it becomes imperative to communicate regularly which rarely happens with virtual teams as they fail to casually meet face-to-face daily. So in that regard it's necessary that everyone has the same goal and share their progress. This way to make your team succeed it's necessary to generate opportunities for team members to communicate frequently. You can use online chat rooms like Skype, video conferencing services like free Google+ Hangouts and project management software like Basecamp.
Review and Evaluate Team Members' Actions: Noting the members of a virtual development team are not co-located, it's tough for managers to monitor the work and progress of team members. You can use integration with the Atlassian Jira tool that enables managers to review the actions of team members and evaluate their progress so that both identify what progress adjustments and training are required. This way all team members are honest and productive.
Use the Best Communication Style to meet your needs:
â€¢ Chat: You can use both Google and Skype to create a chat environment for your team and produce instant messages quickly. It allows a team to chat and remain up-to-date with a team collaboration app for web, mobile and desktop like Flowdock. This way you can work on important things, solve problems and be transparent.
â€¢ Email: Email allows quick interaction and can be replaced with a project management system.
â€¢ Short Video: You can create a video using your webcam and YouTube or Jing, a screen capture tool.
â€¢ Video Chat: Phone calls handle emotional types of communications while video chat can be even better as it gives visual cues of other person's reactions.
â€¢ Video Conferencing: This option is certainly the best and you can use team/project management such as Pivotal Tracker for the same. It helps in getting all your team members on the same page whereas another video conference half way will assure that everyone is on track. Finally, you can end the project with a third video conference.
â€¢ Tools for Screen Sharing: By screen sharing, the team members can see what you are doing and you can see what another team member is doing. Some tools allow the team members to control the computers of one another remotely.
â€¢ End-of-day video update: This update sent to the team manager enables the manager to check the progress of each team member and offer guidance when needed. This small Screencast requires far less time than a virtual meeting.
â€¢ Use Open Channels: Slack allows your team conversations to be organized in open channels as this way everyone will have a transparent view of the ongoing situation. The notifications comprise of pertinent information, links, screenshots, tech details and comments.
â€¢ Set up and Use a Project Management System: Project management system like Redmine is useful in organizing both your conversations and documents. These systems are useful in organizing your storing of shared files.
â€¢ Keep Conversations and Tasks in One Place: It's the time when email fails to meet the needs of your development team owing to the scope, speed and complexity of modern work. It's just not able to figure out what is required, get everyone on the same page and find the right information. Asana facilitates team communication that can be kept in one place and allows everything to be transparent and actionable, and giving your team enough time to get their work done by eliminating time spent with email.