Jan 4 2011

5 good habits when working with remote teams

Over the past 9 months, when i shifted to freelancer mode, i often worked as part of a remote team, and there were some lessons learned about it. I will try to share the most valuable one’s in order to keep everything running smoothly.

1. Overlap most of the working hours (at least 50% of your time)

Even if you’re working remotely there is need for synchronisation and topic discussion so is extremely important to have all the team working on the same working schedule, at least half of the time.

2. Enforce a daily meeting by chat/video (Even if it’s only 15min)

People tend to label meetings as a waste of time, not every meetings are, is important to keep everyone in the same boat, so that all the team knows on which direction is heading to, so keep a small daily meeting on the schedule, if not on the beginning of the journey make it at the end. Think on SCRUM stand-up meeting points:

  • What have i done yesterday
  • What will i do today
  • Do i need someone else’s backup for this or have any roadblocks

There will always be an excuse for not doing this, but you SHOULD enforce it, this could be a time saver at the end.

3. Make GOALS noticeable

Working with remote pal’s makes it harder to enforce a company spirit, as will miss the human (local) touch. So, you must be sure that everyone is aware of were we are and what are we trying to achieve as a team. Keep the company goals to achieve on a company intranet/wiki and if you find needed the individual “What’s everyone working on” section.

4. Keep everyone’s mobile phone on a company wiki

Having everyone contacts available is extremely important, working from home , there will be stressfull situation where contact between 2 team members is needed and one of them will be offline, think on internet broken, o other reason. So mobile phone will be a huge time saver.

5. Avoid team micro-management

You’ll have the temptation to micro-manage, there is no space for micro-management working on a remote environment. What you should do is to make sure everyone is keeping up with the committed goals. Think on a weekly goal commitment for bigger development cycles, and make a goal analysis at the end of each week, do not make this on a shorter time frame because will be a time taker activity and will not work at all.

Do you have any suggestions when working with remote teams ?

One comment on “5 good habits when working with remote teams

  1. I am just in the process of hiring a developer to work with me remotely. So this whole concept of remote teams is very new to me. I have a quick question, what types of tools do you use to manage the team? Also what types of protocols are in place to ensure security and quality of work? Cheers, appreciate the post.

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