Has this ever happened to you? You’ve got a groundbreaking idea for a product that’s sure to make waves in your industry. You’ve done your homework, pulled together the funding, and even secured an eager customer base.
You’re all set, right? But then, you hit a roadblock. Your in-house talent pool isn’t cutting it. Either the skill set doesn’t match, the resources are too costly, or your timeline is simply too tight.
How will you meet the soaring expectations of your stakeholders and customers? You’re stuck, and it’s agitating. Your vision is there, yet the execution path is foggy.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? we’ve been there, and so have countless other startup founders.
Now, imagine a different scenario. You’ve got your standout product idea, your funding, and your customers lined up, just like before. But this time, you’ve got something else. You’ve got a dedicated, skilled, and incredibly agile remote development team.
Wouldn’t that be a game-changer?
That’s exactly what I want to introduce to you: the solution to your product development woes. In this blog, we will help you learn how to effectively partner with your remote development team so that you can ensure your product gets out the door on schedule
Let’s dive right in.
How to partner with a remote development team?
Here are a few key elements that will enable you to partner with your remote team without experiencing any setbacks.
The first step to effectively partnering with your remote development team is to understand the structure of your team. In the same way, a well-organized, cohesive local team can drive results, your remote team also needs a clear, well-communicated hierarchy and division of responsibilities.
This includes defining roles and responsibilities, understanding individual strengths, and knowing how each member fits into the larger team and project.
For example, in a remote team setting, an American startup might have its Product Manager and Business Analysts based in the UK, while the developers, testers, and UX/UI designers are located in India.
Each team member should know their role, and they should also understand how they fit into the larger picture of the project. A clear team structure with distributed responsibilities ensures smoother operations and efficiency.
This planning phase will help you and your outsourcing provider define the team size and choose the development team with the relevant skills and experience. Selecting an ideal team can help you maintain a smooth workflow and save time throughout the development.
Next, you need a clear project plan. This isn’t just your standard timeline with milestones, but a detailed map of how your product will go from concept to reality.
Consider using tools like Jira or Trello to organize and track tasks, set deadlines, and share progress. These tools will not only provide transparency but also create a centralized space for all project-related information.
A detailed project plan will include things like sprint planning, story estimation, and release planning. For instance, we once worked on a project where we were building a SaaS app. The project plan included everything from setting up the database to designing the user interface to implementing secure payment methods. Each of these tasks had a designated owner, an estimated completion time, and a place in the overall timeline.
Creating a plan can propel the team forward without any slowdowns. Team leaders or project managers must provide the team with clear guidance. The team leader must set goals and objectives for each team member.
To increase team productivity, remote employees must be informed of the tasks they are expected to do, the standards for their performance, and how to collaborate. No goals with collaboration tools are effective if team members are unclear about their aims.
The best way to keep the team updated and on the same page is to conduct team meetings. It also helps monitor the workflow.
Clear and open communication
Despite the physical distance, frequent and clear communication is crucial to keep everyone on the same page. Embrace tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet for quick chats and video calls. Regular check-ins, be they daily or weekly, can help in sharing updates, resolving issues, and maintaining momentum.
For example, consider a scenario where your based startup in the US is developing an e-learning app with a remote team in India. Firstly, you’ll want to kick things off with a detailed project briefing. This is where you’ll share the product vision, user stories, and overall objectives.
Visual aids like wireframes, flowcharts, or prototypes can be used to provide a more concrete understanding of the product. In this session, encourage questions and discussions to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the project.
Following this, it’s essential to establish regular check-ins. These could be daily stand-ups or weekly review meetings. For instance, during the development phase, you could have a brief daily stand-up meeting where each team member updates on what they did yesterday, their plan for today, and any obstacles they are facing. This method, borrowed from Agile methodologies, ensures that all team members are aligned and helps identify any issues early on.
One key practice we’ve found useful is to document important discussions and decisions. Suppose in one of your weekly meetings, it was decided to pivot a feature of the app based on user feedback. This decision, along with its reasoning and implications, should be documented and shared with all team members. This helps keep everyone on the same page, regardless of when and where they are working.
Finally, communication is a two-way street. It’s equally important to foster an environment where the remote team feels comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. This can be encouraged through regular feedback sessions or simply by maintaining an open, respectful dialogue.
Time zone differences
Time zone differences can indeed be a significant advantage when you’re working with remote development teams, particularly when there’s a large time difference.
For example, India is typically 9.5 to 12.5 hours ahead of the US, depending on which coast you’re on. This initially appears as a challenge since it’s not the usual 9-to-5 overlap you’d see in local teams. But, with clever management, this ‘challenge’ can turn into one of your greatest assets.
Let’s break this down.
When your in-house team in the US is wrapping up for the day, your outsourced Indian development team is just starting their workday. This effectively extends your work hours to at least 16 hours, ensuring that your project gets delivered on time.
Transparency is a cornerstone of any successful partnership, and it becomes even more vital when working with a remote team across different time zones.
Transparency in a remote team context means open, honest, and proactive sharing of information, objectives, expectations, and decisions. Not only does this foster trust, but it also facilitates better collaboration, alignment, and problem-solving.
In the realm of product development, transparency extends to many areas:
Project goals and vision: To start, every team member should understand the product’s purpose, the problem it’s solving, and the vision behind it. This helps the Indian team to understand why they’re building what they’re building, fostering a sense of ownership and alignment with the project’s objectives.
Project status and challenges: It’s essential to regularly update the team on the project’s progress and any obstacles or changes. For example, if a feature is behind schedule or if there’s a change in business priorities, these should be promptly and clearly communicated to all team members.
Strategic decisions: When strategic decisions are made—like changes in product features or project timelines—these shouldn’t be conveyed as just directives. Instead, explain the rationale behind these decisions, how they align with the overall business strategy, and what they mean for the team.
For example, let’s say you’ve decided to pivot the product based on market feedback. Instead of just informing the team about the changes, you also explain why this pivot is happening, what market feedback led to this, and how it aligns with the startup’s goals. This not only helps your remote team understand and adapt to the change but also invites their input, leveraging their expertise and insights.
Transparency ensures that everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goals. It builds a sense of trust and mutual respect, empowering the team to deliver their best work. It can turn your outsourced remote team into an integral part of your startup, driving towards success together.
Building relationships with your remote team is not just about fostering a positive work environment; it’s about establishing a true partnership. For example, when you partner with a remote development team in India, nurturing strong relationships is crucial to creating a team that is engaged, collaborative, and committed to the product’s success.
The significance of relationships in remote settings is often understated. Relationships create trust, which is the bedrock of successful remote collaboration. When trust is established, your remote team feels comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and addressing concerns—ultimately leading to better communication and more effective problem-solving.
Here are a few ways to build and nurture relationships in a remote setting:
Shared Vision: Begin with a clear and shared vision for the product. Sharing this vision helps everyone feel part of the journey and creates a sense of common purpose. In my experience, teams that are aligned with the product’s vision show higher levels of commitment and productivity.
Regular Interaction: Communication should not be limited to task updates or problem-solving. Encourage conversations about non-work-related topics. A simple question about their weekend or a discussion on the latest Netflix series can go a long way in building connections. It’s essential to show that you’re interested in them as people, not just as professionals.
Benefits of a remote development team
- By migrating to or choosing remote partners, businesses can earn huge benefits.
- Employee productivity increases as they are comfortable performing their job at their own pace and with flexible schedules.
Enhanced tech support
- Finding a remote team can assist you in gaining access to the latest tech tools and resources for the development of your remarkably effective solution.
Access to global talents
- Working with a remote team can assist you in choosing the most qualified experts with advanced training in tools and technology.
- It is less expensive to collaborate on projects using virtual teams.
- It does not require office space, rent, office maintenance, utilities, or any other expenditures associated with operating an in-house team for your business function.
- You can prioritize the key meetings by reducing the less important ones.
- Remote working reduces travel times, which is especially advantageous for those who commute daily.
- Employees are strongly encouraged to work remotely since it reduces travel time and expense while also improving work-life balance, which boosts productivity and focus.
Partnering with a remote development team can unlock a world of possibilities for your startup. It’s not just about saving costs; it’s about accessing a diverse range of skills, expanding your operational hours, and accelerating your product development.
Remember, building a successful partnership with your remote team is a journey, not a destination. It takes effort, understanding, and patience. By creating the right team structure, communicating effectively, being aware of time zone differences, maintaining transparency, and fostering strong relationships, you can overcome the physical distance and create a truly integrated global team.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and partner with a remote development team, we’re here to help. Our team of experts can guide you through every step of the process, from selecting the right team to setting up effective collaboration strategies. Get a free product development consultation now to get started.
How to manage a remote software development team effectively?
Here are some effective ways to monitor and manage your remote development team.
- Focus on crucial meetings
- Connect via effective communication tool
- Keep in touch with your team and check the workflow
- Maintain transparency
- Mind the time zone differences
- Review performance periodically
- Provide feedback to the team and reward employees
What are the main challenges of remote team management?
Here are few challenges with managing remote teams
- No access to conventional monitoring and face-to-face supervision.
- Meeting the exact expectations can be challenging
- Poor communication as there are only virtual meets possible
- Lack of team cohesiveness
- Lack of social engagement
How to effectively measure the performance of developers?
Here are some effective ways to analyze the performance of developers
- Time taken to write quality code
- Tracking the time they worked
- Change failure rate
- Time spent on fixing bugs
- Task completion
- Time taken on updating services
- Customer feedback score
- Team health