Working with a remote development team doesn’t differ that much from a co-located one, with the biggest difference in getting the updates, watching your project’s progress and being involved with the development process to manage it faster and easier. If you work with an in-office team, you can just walk in or run a meeting and be updated about the progress and have all your questions answered — this perk is impossible while managing remote teams.
Still, being involved is not a hard task thanks to lots of diverse software that would allow you to overcome your situational restrictions.
Everyone involved in software development knows Atlassian, and it definitely deserves the first mention. Although it’s not just one software piece, this ecosystem is tied together to work seamlessly in one system and covers almost any requirements for team management software. Task management, collaboration, support, communication, and code management is built in an intuitive but very powerful interface. For those who constantly work with remote teams, Jira, Confluence, HipChat, Trello, and BitBucket are the first things to do in a new project, and every engineer and specialist knows how to work, collaborate and communicate using this giant ecosystem.
Over a half of time spent on managing the remote teams narrows to communication. Getting updates from the project manager, discussing tiny details of your project with technical specialists and sharing your vision with designers require simple talk, but with a twist of an easy and fast addition of teammates to the conversation, sharing files with multiple contacts, or creating short-term cross-functional team chats for selected features. All these tiny but significant details often make mass-market messengers unfit, and Slack covers the issue. Slack offers all the features you would expect plus these small but pleasing details in one powerful and intuitive application. In most cases, it is already possible to do 90% of team management only using Slack.
Most of the remote teams quote their work on a time basis. You simply pay for the time developers work on your project. Of course, you make a great effort to put together a super-efficient team, but sometimes there can be situations where you want to be sure that developers indeed do they work. Hubstaff uses a combination of traffic monitoring tools, random screenshot utilities, and peripheral activity detectors to calculate the time the engineers work on your task, as well as helps to find teammates who skip tasks or, conversely, are overloaded. Hubstaff doesn’t only let you find the underutilized workforce but also may help you with more accurate task distribution and, thus, avoid overworking and burning out of your best specialists.
Lots of products being developed now require the creation of dozens of accounts for testing and metering, and lots of different software is utilized by remote teams collectively. Simple storage of all account data, especially passwords, so that it is accessible to anyone in the team is a big deal. Some use Confluence pages, others create shared Google Docs and save passwords there as plain text. LastPass gives access to passwords stored in the cloud, just like your Keychain or 1Password, but adds tons of functionality useful for managing remote teams, like managing users and access policies, bulk password updates, and usage tracking.
Dropbox is a well-known cloud file storage and it is just perfect for personal use, it still lacks things that would be helpful for collaboration of remote teams. Box Drive might be just what you’re looking for. It extends the experience of virtual hard drive somewhere in the cloud’ from usual work with your files and folders to a powerful multi-user collaborative filesystem. Without any interface clutter or visible hints, it adds fast sharing, file streaming, version tracking, file-centered messaging and numerous 3rd party applications and services integrations.
All these 5 apps will definitely come in handy if you are into managing remote teams. However, the human factor still remains the most important, as regardless of the apps you are using, you cannot change the quality of your employees’ work. If you are searching to hire remote software developers or are interested in outsourcing, then Prostir may become your reliable tech partner in this issue. To get a free estimate in just 24 hours, drop us a line.back to blog