From Facebook to Amazon and Twitter to Google, the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases has prompted companies all over the world to ask employees to work from home and switch to remote development.
And, it is true that soon working with the remote development team would become a normal scenario after the recent announcement by the World Health Organization that coronavirus has reached Pandemic status.
Major countries like the USA and the UK are affected greatly by the spread of the virus with cases rising to 1000 and 2626 respectively. It is hard to determine when these countries would return to their normal working with people leaving their homes and working from their workplace. In such a situation, transitioning to the remote development team to countries like India has become a viable option.
India with a whopping population of 1.37 billion has only 172 positive cases of Coronavirus, which includes 32 foreign nationals. The Indian government has banned Visas and is taking all the needed precautionary measures to thwart the further spread of disease.
Making a smooth transition to remote development in India will keep you backed with top talent and enable to meet the client deadlines even in a situation where your developers are on sick leave.
Here is what to keep in mind for a successful transition to a remote development team.
1. Define Remote Work Policies:
Despite having all the necessary resources to hire remote employees, the majority of managers fail in getting the desired results. The main reason behind this is they don’t have all the necessary procedures in place. Before making a transition to a remote development team, it is important to outline expectations and discuss them with everyone on the team.
These policies depend on the team size, however, it will include:
- Availability: This means defining the business hour and deciding on the schedule at which you want your team to be available online.
- Data Management: Which tools they will be used for storing and sharing the data securely.
- Tools: Let them know the tools that you want to use for communication and tracking their tasks.
- Productivity: How the team will measure the progress on projects and monitor results.
Embrace the tools: With the technology at your behest, managing a remote development team is not a challenging job any more. With the right tools in place, team collaboration and communication becomes a piece of cake. So, before making a switch to remote development, arm your company with the right set of tools.
Communication becomes an important aspect while working with the remote development team. Communication should be painless to understand the queries and needs of your team. Email is not a convenient option to understand the project status and challenges the team is facing, hence it is better to opt for tools like Slack and Skype. These tools come with video call options and also let you organize conversations by channel, project or topic.
Project management is a key task for the organizations working remotely. Setting up a cloud-based management tool is the best option that lets everyone access the file and information whenever required. These tools also let you organize projects between different departments. Trello and Basecamp are commonly used tools for project management. For document sharing, GoogleDrive and DropBox are the common options.
How to know if your remote developers are working? This is one of the major concerns while hiring a remote development team. Most companies try to access their remote development team based upon the number of tasks completed, rather than a number of hours they work each day. However, it is possible to keep everyone on task. Time tracking tools such as Timedoctor, Tick and Timesheets are the best option is such a case. You can monitor projects and simply monitor how long they are taking to complete particular tasks.
For data security reasons, it is important to have an information security policy in place before transitioning to remote work. You can ask your remote team to create passwords using LastPass and update them on a frequent basis. Sensitive information should be stored in a secure platform like Box and you can connect using VyperVPN while connecting to public networks.
Here is a list of tools that help you manage the remote development team without any inconvenience.
Maintain Company Culture
Positive company culture is important for employee engagement. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, company culture is among the top five reasons why employees switch to other companies.
Many companies find it difficult to maintain the company culture while going remote. However, managers can make efforts to create a culture that distinguishes your company from other offshore development centers. For example, you can consider traveling and meeting your offshore development team once in six months or a year.
In addition to team retreat, there are also other ways you can maintain a company culture digitally. For instance, regular video conferencing, rewards in the form of gift cards and casual group discussions can make your team feel more connected.
Make Use of Overlapping Hours
Differences in time-zones are one of the biggest challenges while working with offshore development teams. Using overlapping hours can help in mitigating this challenge. Overlapping hours are those hours of the day during which both the in-house team and remote developers are working. For example, if you have outsourced your project to India, then shift ending time in India might overlap with the start of the shift in the USA.
Make Use of Agile Technology
Software development is a process that requires a high level of iteration and interaction, adopting an agile methodology for both in-house and offshore developers results in boosting efficiency significantly.
Agile methodology has become one of the most popular management strategies. For more than the last 10 years, the adoption rate of this methodology is growing continuously. 97% of respondents’ organizations practice agile development and 52% of respondents stated that more 80% than of the team are using agile practices.
The agile methodology involves breaking the project into smaller phases known as sprints. The length of the short iteration or sprint may vary. For example, a sprint may complete in one week or could take as long as two months.
Treat Remote Team as Partner
When you will consider a remote team as your team, it is natural that the team will work harder for you. They will willingly try to have more overlapping hours with you and might even change the schedule to match yours.
Acknowledge the hard work your remote development team members put in accomplishing your project. Spend some time in building a rapport with them. This will solidify your relationship with the team and will create a happy working environment.
Working with a remote development team has become the need of an hour. Amidst corona, having team operating for you from one of the least affected nations like India will back your productivity. All you need not do is adopt things as mentioned above to make sure that your remote development is aligned with your project development requirement.
Make sure you are safe and preventing the spread of Corona at your workplace.