If you happen to believe that remote team and working remotely is a threat to productive and collaborative work, consider our experience of how seamlessly with processes in place, managing remote teams, we delivered projects on time. We are an end to end solution provider for mobile and web app development, engaging daily in a lot of client management tasks, mobile app development led processes, implementation, and much more. As a team working remotely during the pandemic, we maintained our work ethics without physically being together, having the interactions and experiences that are only possible face-to-face, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. We are glad to share our journey on how the lockdown was never a challenge for us.
1. Processes & Guideline
CodeToArt is a process-oriented company. For all the work we do, we have processes in place. In app development, ios app development, android app development we have specific guidelines for developers that they have to follow. For instance, we follow MVP and Recommended architecture design patterns during development in Android. All android developers are given guidelines to follow that while developing any new feature or new project. We also have Code Review (CR) to make sure that development is done as per guidelines.
Following is the flow diagram of the development process:
We create and plan the sprint (2-3 weeks sprint) for any new feature in the project.
Read Also: Development Process at CodeToArt
So, if you are facing challenges of managing remote team, take some time to create development guidelines and development processes. Also, make sure to add a review step to make sure everyone works as per guidelines. Initially, the review step might take time, but once the team gets used to working as per guidelines, later, the review step won't take much time.
2. Don’t Micro-Manage
Define the outcomes you expect from your small teams rather than the specific activities or the time spent on them. We thrive with empowering, less-controlling management styles. Rather than continuous monitoring of shift time, we worked on a holistic approach of tasks being met as per the decided deadline, thereby enabling our employees to work smoothly and deliver the best.
3. Physical Distancing ≠ Social Distancing
We’re fortunate to be in the age of technology where physical distancing cannot lead to social isolation. We can connect instantly with our remote team members. During times like this of lockdown it’s important we stay connected virtually, and work towards remote team collaboration.
4. Mind The Time-Zone Gaps
As we work with many startups and US-based clients, we already have set protocols to manage the time zone challenges. Having it all in place since the very beginning has worked effectively for us.
Tools are the foundation of effective remote team work models because you are coordinating in a virtual space. The best part for us has been all tools were already in place, and the team was well-equipped to use them. All the information updates in real-time and lives there 24/7, so team members can pick up the context, communications, and status of any request, project, meeting agenda, or other items at their convenience. Some of the best tools to always have in your kitty :
We use the following remote office communication tools
- Slack for team communication - With robust features and integrations, Slack is like a central hub for all team activities and project management tasks. Easily automated reminders, task lists, powerful search capabilities, custom shortcuts, slash commands, and audio-video call features make it an indispensable tool for app development companies.
- Git for code repo - A Git repo contains every version of every file saved in the repo. Git saves these files very efficiently, so having many versions doesn't mean that it uses a lot of disk space. Storing each version of your files helps Git merge code better and makes working with multiple versions of your code quickly and easily.
- Clockify - Clockify is a time tracker and timesheet app that lets you and your remote team track work hours across projects . Track productivity, attendance, and billable hours with a simple time tracker and timesheet. As a team activity tool, you can invite the whole team, set employee hourly rates, see current activity, see who worked on what.
- Google meet - Get a meeting link to share, start an instant video meeting, and schedule a google calendar. Help your remote team stay securely connected with enterprise-grade video conferencing built on Google's robust and secure global infrastructure.
- GSuite - For file sharing and general documentation. Efficiently work on documents, spreadsheets, and slides across your devices, with or without the internet. Work in a single document with teammates, and other stakeholders. See edits as others type, communicate through built-in chat, and ask questions in comments. Multiple people can work at the same time, and every change is saved automatically making the process of mobile app development companies simplified.
- Trello & JIRA for task management - Connect Jira and Trello to help your teams work better together. The Jira Power-up allows you to connect different groups across your organization, view important issue information on the detailed card view, see if your linked issues are done.
6. Planning & Team Calls
We always plan 2-3 weeks of the sprint. And work accordingly. We have a daily 10 mins status call during the sprint, where we have the following agenda:
- What did you work yesterday?
- What do you plan to do today?
- Any dependency on anyone, because of which task is blocked?
7. Team Trust
Employees don't need to undergo the constant pressure of being visible in a digital workspace. Remove this anxiety and unnecessary hurdles by trusting the team. Trust allows the remote team to integrate their systems and processes, enabling them to find solutions, make decisions quickly, and execute efficiently. Remote will not work if you cannot trust the team or team members. Hire the member whom you can trust. Otherwise, you will always keep thinking about team member's work instead of thinking about customers, products, growth, etc.
8. Flat Structure
A less bureaucracy at work helps people take action quickly, quick briefing each other, reporting, seeking approvals, less time consumed sitting in meetings with no agenda.
9. Plan Workflow & Effective Communication
The key to success at WFH lies in prioritizing communication. Our team and manager connected over call first thing and discussed routine queries instead of sending an email. Once you have a clear view of the entire portfolio, prioritize what to build. We Plan our work before the start of the day.
- Have a task list or target sheet in front of you.
- Prioritize your projects and schedule time slots.
- Inform the team members one day in advance about the meeting agenda and flow.
- Establish ground rules
- All stakeholders should know what is to be discussed, the time frame, homework to be done, what has to be accomplished.
10. Client Relationship
We work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients, remotely much needed in the time of crisis. Ensuring the right mechanisms and transparency with client teams makes the relationship sustainable.
In most cases, employees can manage client relationships remotely just as effectively as from within the office. Clients tend to communicate with the team through phone and email, accessible from any location through their devices.
In the time of the pandemic, one thing is for sure: a company's ability to quickly adapt to a new way of working is critical for preparing for the next normal. Companies had already demonstrated agility in a lifesaving way when the coronavirus pandemic erupted, and companies had to evolve. With the right framework in place, we enhance our speed, decision-making process, client management system, best use of technology, thereby accelerating the scope and scale of work. And it did work for us, rather we are planning to move to remote working permanently.