Table of Contents:
Building The Future of Freelance Software / slashdev.io
Building a Competent Offshore Software Development Team in 3 Easy Steps/
- Step # 1: Discover a Competent Offshore Software Development Team
- Step #2: Develop a Software Development Team With An Organized Method Of Work
- Step #3: Establish Lines of Communication
- A Few Words In Conclusion
In a remote setting, a team works very differently than when everyone is in the same room. Teams must figure out what works best for them and perform effectively together. Hiring and getting started with a new job are also impacted. This article will cover the three simple steps to help you create a competent remote software development team.
It’s been a while since everyone suddenly had to start working from home. Companies had to go remote because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gained mixed reactions. Companies had to reorganize their teams, find good ways to work remotely and ensure that productivity stayed the same. Given how quickly everything happened, this was challenging.
Putting together a team is always challenging. Building a remote software development team is even scarier. However, there are also many apparent risks to managing a software team remotely. For example, can you guarantee that a distributed team will stay motivated? In what way will they structure the process? Am I making the most of my resources? How about the time difference?
Despite these hesitations, major tech companies like Alibaba, Skype, Basecamp, and Github all employ remote software development teams to build their websites. In fact, it has been proven that outsourcing can help a business succeed. Building a competent remote team requires practical management skills.
In this article, we want to share three easy steps we’ve learned from working with foreign clients on building remote software development teams.
What you will find out are:
- What qualities should you seek out in remote developers?
- How should the software development team structure its development procedure?
- What is the best way to arrange communication for a remote team?
So let’s get started.
Step # 1: Discover a Competent Offshore Software Development Team
It may seem obvious, but the people you hire make all the difference when building a software development team. Indeed, candidates should also share your company’s values, which is just as important as mastering hard skills (like coding or testing).
You will still work with an outsourced development team even if you don’t hire them. Consequently, when conducting interviews for a software development team, it is crucial to focus on power skills, such as:
Being Collaborative and Team Players
Creating a product now requires more than just a programming background. Team members who work together well and share information effectively have a better chance of making a successful result than those who work in silos. Therefore, assessing a candidate’s capacity to work in a group is vital to reaching a common goal. Here are some suggestions for analyzing:
- Set up a conference call with the applicants, and grill them with questions about the job;
- Check to see if the candidates you’re considering for the open position have ever collaborated before;
- Make sure to find out if the candidate(s) has worked in the field you’re interested in;
- Find out what the candidate values most by asking about their favorite product/client, their tasks, and what they find most challenging.
Balance Between Independence and Accountability
Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, says that the core of your business is not strict rules or hard work. Instead, the company puts people first, and trust is at the center of its culture. This approach includes feedback loops, no official vacation and salary policies, and full transparency within the company.
Like Netflix, Slashdev fosters a culture of trust and accountability among its employees by letting them set their schedules and salaries while holding them accountable for their commitments and contributions.
Prioritizing the Needs of the Business
There’s a chance that the people working on your software have impressive skill sets and will help you solve complex issues. But that won’t help if these decisions don’t help the business in any way.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that your company’s needs be at the forefront of every decision you make. Make sure that the people working on the software are aware of that.
Additional tip: Examine the candidate’s business acumen by paying attention to the kinds of questions asked during the interview. If the answers the candidate gives you are relevant to your business objectives, they are more likely to help you. If that’s not the case, explain your company’s goals to the candidate and have him tell you how they can contribute.
Step #2: Develop a Software Development Team With An Organized Method Of Work
A well-organized workflow is another way to get your software development team on the same page. You must establish clear guidelines, deadlines, and documentation for your team to be productive. Here are some things you can do to reach your objective:
Bring Your Project’s Concept To Light
Vague instructions are the worst thing you can do for your software development team and the project. To get the best results from your software development project, you must present all the project details, explain where your ideas came from, and ensure the team understands your goals. Further, with more data at their disposal, the development team can speed up the time necessary to provide you with project estimates. In particular, you may point out the following:
- Background on your product and goals for the collaboration;
- Give an overview of your long-term business objectives;
- Describe the context in which the final product will function.
Facilitate Communication On Your Software Development Team By Providing Different Media
As obvious as it may sound, selecting suitable means of team communication and project management is essential. Fortunately, such apps and devices are abundant, and many have become popular during the pandemic lockdowns (Zoom, for example). We use the following methods and technologies to communicate our messages:
- Slack for general communications;
- Jira for managing projects;
- Zoom or Google Hangouts for online meetings;
- Figma for creating designs;
- Miro, for a real-time collaborative whiteboard.
Provide Proper Documentation
To begin working on a project, developers must first have access to all of the necessary functional and non-functional specifications and constraints, which are collected in the project documentation. As such, it is crucial that you clearly outline a shared vision and values for the project and that you provide all the necessary information.
Documentation plays a crucial role in the software development process. But don’t worry; you don’t have to deal with it alone. In fact, a proactive development team will work with you to define your project’s needs.
Step #3: Establish Lines of Communication
Quality communication is the most critical aspect of managing a distributed software development team. This basic fact is universal and can be found in any resource on the topic. The backbone of a productive software development team is its systematic approach to communication, key performance indicators, and review process.
As we’ve said before and will reiterate here, communication is essential. For that reason, we have provided some suggestions that may prove helpful in establishing channels of communication when working remotely:
Organize A Calendar Of Meetings
Consistent communication is the cornerstone of effective communication. Being methodical is crucial for the success of any business, regardless of whether we’re talking about the daily documentation process, the promotion of products, or the distribution of services.
The same holds for communicating with your remote software development team: having a system in place is more effective than winging it. A project manager, team leader, or individual team member could conduct these meetings. The most important thing is that they are consistent.
Here are the types of a regular meetings that may help you stay synchronized:
- Backlog Grooming meetings. At this meeting, we plan what will be accomplished in the next sprint and review the remaining items in the backlog.
- Planning meetings. During these sessions, we prioritize the current workload and break the backlog into actionable tasks.
- Daily check-ins. These meetings are essential for maintaining rapport amongst team members as they allow for discussing routine tasks and providing assistance when needed.
- Demo. At this crucial stage, the team shows the client what they’ve accomplished so far on the project during the sprint demo.
- Retrospective. At the end of each sprint, the team gets together for a “retrospective meeting,” where they discuss what went well and what could be improved upon during the sprint and draw conclusions about where to go from there.
Develop Your Network
Remember to cultivate personal relationships with all team members while maintaining regular connections with team leads or remote software development team managers. An excellent way to accomplish this is through informal online meetings and one-on-one with each team member.
Clearly Define The Roles And Responsibilities On Your Remote Software Development Team
Your remote software development team can have varying skill sets and specializations to serve your company best. These are some of the members you can expect to find on a software development team:
- Software Engineers – They are your software’s frontline and backend operators. Their efforts will determine the success of your product;
- QA engineer – A specialist whose job it is to guarantee that the program performs as described in the user manual;
- Project Manager – The person responsible for creating and maintaining project documentation, budgets, and risk management plans;
- UX/UI Designers – These professionals will make your app or website visually appealing and ensure that it is functionally sound for its intended audience.
It’s possible for the software development team to also consist of the following:
- Product Owner – A person responsible for converting business requirements into technical specifications for software;
- Product Manager – An individual who guides you through the product creation process and offers advice. He establishes the product’s unique selling proposition, gits market fit, and its course for future development;
- Business Analyst – An expert in charge of determining what features the product will have and what information will be needed to complete the project;
- Chief Architect – Having an architect to manage the flow of communication and work between teams is essential for any project with multiple departments or units.
A Few Words In Conclusion
Hiring a software development team is challenging, whether remotely or in-house. The fact that these experts will soon contribute to your product makes it much simpler to identify the qualities you need from potential hires. Therefore, providing clear communication and revealing all product details to the software development team is crucial.
Working with Slashdev’s expert team, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Our top values that guide our work on every new project are teamwork and meeting the needs of the business.
With these guidelines in mind, you should be able to put together a powerful remote team and culture. It’s important to remember that every company is different, and so is the process of creating a remote team or organization.