How to Ensure Effective Remote Team Management

HOW TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE REMOTE TEAM MANAGEMENT

BUSINESS
ARTEM BARMIN
Co-founder at Freshcode
ALEXANDRA LOZOVYUK
Content writer at Freshcode
Knowledge is power as long as it's shared. So, today we are going to share with you some practical tips on managing a remote team. They are the result of the lessons we've learned and the knowledge we've accumulated during our work experience as an outsourcing software company.

Hope this essence of our management expertise will come in handy!
According to UpWork's "Future Workforce Report", by 2028 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers.

Remote work is more inclusive as it provides flexibility to employees to combine their work with parental responsibilities and other family duties. It allows some kind of specialists on-the-job travel around the world. Finally, it enables team members to be on equal footing as other teammates globally and avoids an unhealthy organizational model with 'major' office players and 'minor' remote workers who feel overboard the boat of company life.

In this article, we want to tell you how to manage a remote team efficiently and benefit from embracing an agile future.
knowledge pool remote team

1. Be on the Same Page — Using a Knowledge Base

knowledge pool remote team
The first point in your to-do list is setting up a work environment for remote employees. It includes specific infrastructural stuff as well as digital workspace software.

Mindset matters. Knowledge pool matters. Expertize exchange is vital too. Putting it all together is a high art of management.

We at Freshcode organize an ever-increasing pool of knowledge in the structured comprehensive system, including code repositories, release checklists, ideas lists, market research, internal training programs, etc.

Advanced tools for managing remote teams replaced a lot of the benefits of the traditional office workspace. Confluence and Notion are some of the management platforms we use daily.

1.1 CONFLUENCE
Confluence is a leading global platform providing data-driven management solutions. This collaboration tool was developed by the Australian software company Atlassian.

It helps to keep everyone organized – with everything from meeting notes to IT documentation – through primary management solutions:

  • performance tracking and attribution to evaluate and enhance strategies
  • integrated data processing
  • performance reporting
  • financial reporting
  • multi-asset risk & risk analytics
  • regulatory compliance and analytics to comply with regulatory mandates

Confluence has add-ons for integrations with a flexible programmable API. It's relevant as a tool for requirements that you can link to tasks in the Jira issue tracker.

1.2 NOTION
Notion is one more all-in-one digital workspace that gives teams the toolset for planning, tracking, and updating multiple tasks. It blends many workflows into one place, whether it is

  • a task list
  • a product roadmap
  • a design repository
  • (list can be continued)

Every member of your team can customize his/her own workspace with Notion's LEGO-style building blocks and create a smart and user-friendly toolbox for daily usage.

We haven't implemented Notion as a сustomer сommunication tool yet. But we already use it to lead an internal collaboration of management and marketing Freshcode teams. And we have to admit it's worth it!
    Creativity isn't just reserved for artists or culinary geniuses, it can and should be used by management. Once our team settled into the social-distanced meetings and bounced marketing ideas off of our families and neighbors, productivity and creative levels shot through the roof.

    Scott Taylor, CEO of Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux

    2. Stay in Touch Choice of Communication Tools

    communication tools 2022 remote IT team
    Communication is the backbone of any type of team management, and in terms of remote managing across the globe it takes on new importance. Communication is what makes teams strong. And, at the same time, effective communication is one of the most difficult tasks for companies.

    All the decisions, discussions, brainstorms, interviews, and training take place online, so they should be maintained via handy and powerful pieces of software.

    Let's highlight the next couple of our favorites among team management tools: Slack and Google Meet.

      2.1 SLACK
      Slack is a digital ecosystem for communication and collaboration. Different organizations around the world use it to connect teams and drive the business forward.

      Via 2,500+ apps and a robust API, Slack allows building apps and integrations to:
      • streamline workflows
      • automate repetitive tasks
      • bring context into conversations

      As a messaging system with lots of add-ins for other teams tools, it provides two chat methods:
      • channels (group chats)
      • direct message (1:1 chats)
      Also, it allows using video and voice chats, which helps you share information faster and clearer.

        2.2 GOOGLE MEET
        Google Meet is a leading video-communication service provided by Google. It offers the following free features:

        • unlimited number of meetings
        • live captioning
        • video and audio preview screen
        • compatible across devices.
        • screen settings and adjustable layouts
        • controls for meeting hosts
        • screen sharing
        • messaging

        We use G Suite, paid business version of the Google toolset, that opens access to more advanced features, including Meet's ones:

        • dial-in phone numbers
        • larger meetings
        • meetings recording

        3. Meet Your Project Deadlines Managing Software Teams

        scaling engineering team 2022 rules and tips
        Your success depends on your ability to work well together and to analyze the state of progress to improve processes and implement required changes.

        Jira and Trello help us to deal with it!

          3.1 JIRA
          Jira is a bug- and issue-tracking project-management app developed by already mentioned Atlassian. It's widely used by development teams to track bugs, stories, epics, and other work tasks.

          Jira supports any Agile methodology, be it Scrum, Kanban, or your own hybrid model.

          From handy dashboards, backlogs, roadmaps, reports, to integrations and add-ons we manage our software development projects from a single platform. It helps to keep everything through 4 types of primary management packages:

          • Jira Work Management (generic project management toolset)
          • Jira Software (agile project management features)
          • Jira Service Management (IT operations & business service desks)
          • Jira Align (strategic product and portfolio management)

            3.2 TRELLO
            Trello is one more widely used collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. Its core components are:

            • boards
            • lists
            • cards
            It's our favorite constructor of the sprint lists that allows structuring and handling task tickets. You can assign them a

            • label
            • members
            • checklist
            • due date

            Also, you can add attachments (loaded files or URLs), indicate progress, and track activity details.
            We are seeing an acceleration of the trend to democratize the workplace. <...> Digital technology has flattened hierarchies, with everyone connected and getting information at the same time.

            Diane Gherson, CHRO at IBM
            Have stellar ideas and looking for a dedicated team?
            You are on the right track!

            4. FLEXIBILITY & WORK-LIFE BALANCE —EMBRACE ASYNC TEAM COMMUNICATION

            scaling engineering team 2022 rules and tips
            In today's world dictated by schedules, calendars, and work plans, people are conditioned to perform in synchronicity — a collaborating model where 2+ parties exert effort to be in the same place (physically or virtually) simultaneously.

            But if you want to build a more smart and productive workplace, it's time to embrace asynchronous communication.

            Asynchronous (async) work communication is the art of moving projects forward faster. Organizations mistakenly associate constant connectivity with quality collaboration. But in fact, asynchronous communication often leads to better collaboration and improved productivity.

            Asynch communication cannot be implemented without the digital tools we've described above. It's about...
            Messaging apps like Slack
            Video capturing with Loom and its alternatives
            Comments on the Trello-like boards
            Notion-like team communication tools
            It helps your employees to keep the conversation going on their own time and provide plenty of advantages:

            • No need for additional stakeholders to be available at the same time
            • Fewer interruptions in employee's workday
            • More time to do deep work
            • Accommodating different communication styles and expressing yourself in more effective ways

            5. STAYING UP TO DATE INCLUDE DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTING

            remote team reporting and IT documentation
            With remote team management, keeping a close eye on quality becomes more challenging. Make it a habit to record updates, work progress, and any project changes. Handing over outdated documentation to your team is not the best practice.

            We ate Freshcode use Trello dashboard for tracking work progress. Our team leads and managers create the following core lists to prioritize and manage tasks properly and fast:

            • EVERGREEN - the core description of the onboarding process and long-term overall company's goals. It's the crucial column in the management template.
            • TODO - section with cards representing tasks and ideas
            • IN PROGRESS - this progress bar contains cards with tasks that are currently being performed. It ensures the team concentrates on finishing old work, rather than starting new work.
            • DONE - probably the most pleasant section with a list of completed tasks

            Such structure represents just basic principles and can be customized according to the needs of your company. It prevents work from piling up and streamlines workflow in a great way.

            And remember, aim for progress, not perfection: done is better than perfect.

            6. TAKEAWAY

            how to scale a team product development

            Keep a top-notch remote work environment with right toolset and:

            • enable a flexible workforce
            • adapt to the new reality with bright business perspectives
            • get better business outcomes
            • enhance employee experience
            I can't tell you the number of CEOs I talked to who are thinking, 'I have to solve the diversity challenge in my business, and remote work is one of the key tools…' We have to let go of this very office-centric culture and incorporate people who are in a lot of geographies.

            Hayden Brown, CEO of Upwork

            At Freshcode, we are helping businesses unleash their potential through transparent and effective team collaboration. Our management experts have impressive experience working with different teams worldwide. We know the benefits of different team patterns, their drawbacks and use cases. And we are ready to share our expertise with you.

            Initial consultation with a Freshcode representative is free. It allows you to get basic recommendations of how to hire a remote product development team and what tech solutions and collaboration models fit your business.

            Key facts about Freshode:
            • 120+ subject-matter experts
            • End-user oriented team
            • Offices are 1-2 flying hours away from most European countries
            • Moderate rates
            • Flexible partnership models

            FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

            What is team management?
            Team management is the pillar of any successful company. It includes a wide range of responsibilities, from hiring the right people and onboarding them, to developing strategies and controlling the progress process.

            There is no magic formula or ad-hoc solution for successful team management. It all depends on your company structure and its business needs. Your task as a leader is to implement the most suitable model and toolset to manage the team efficiently.
            What are the best tools for remote team management?
            Remote management tools enhance the process to keep employees productive and help every team member grow professionally.

            Good remote working software should help you assist your teams in reaching their performance levels, and keeping the company culture and strategies alive.

            Best applications for remote collaboration include:

            • project & task management
            • file sharing
            • chats
            • resource management
            • schedules & calendar

            In this article, we highlight some software products we are using at Freshocde, including Slack, Jira, Notion, and others.
            What are the most frequent challenges of managing remote employees?
            While managing a remote team you can face a lot of issues. You are a warlord fighting chaotic management and delivery delays. You are a captain of the ship following the course set by the client. You are a multi-armed god harmonizing all company processes. Quite a challenge, isn't it?

            Here are 5 main challenges of managing a remote team:

            • Communication
            • Tracking work activity and progress
            • Scheduling difficulties
            • Responding to force majeure
            • Building trust and a common vision of company goals
            What happens after you fill this form?
            • Our representative will contact you within one business day

            • We sign an NDA to keep your ideas confidential

            • You share essential requirements with us

            • Our analysts and developers estimate the budget and timeline
            Shall we discuss your idea?
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