Effectively managing agile software development teams virtually
As telecommuting is now the new normal, the question for project managers on how to effectively manage virtual teams effectively is becoming more apparent. For project managers, one of their duties and responsibilities is to ensure that best practices are implemented when collaborating from afar. Although considerations in managing a virtual software development team are different, they should be considered as an extension of what they practiced before while working on-site.
Here is a quick guide on how to properly and effectively manage your virtual software development team that consist of key ideas to bridge the physical distance between your team members, and keep all everyone accountable, efficient, and productive.
1. Become a virtual project manager yourself
Managing remote employees can be a challenge but it can also be a great competitive strength. It is in acknowledging that a remote team is different from an on-site team, especially when practiced for the longest time, that we learn how to manage virtual teams efficiently.
It is important for the Project Manager to understand the peculiarities unique to his/her virtual team to know how to benefit from that. They need to brush up on each member’s competencies and personality in order to take the benefits during planning and assignment of tasks.
2. Have a well-defined process
Establish a specific process for suggestions, building, testing, documentation, and other activities. In an on-site set up, team members have the luxury to talk and look over each other’s shoulders. In a virtual team’s case, each member is on their own. With this, it is best to have a standardized way of working together that is clear with everyone in the group.
3. Back up your processes with tools
A clear process encourages team members to be organized, all throughout the project lifecycle (analysis, design, testing, etc.). The process gives them a good understanding of the project scope and current status.
Identify tools for specific uses like Zoom or Skype for video conferencing/teleconferencing, Microsoft Teams and Slack for multifunctional online collaboration, or Trello for project/task management.
4. Encourage team members to build strong relationships with peers and clients
It is important to note that every member of the team needs to learn to understand and respect his/her teammates and clients more when working virtually. If teams let distance become a hindrance to healthy collaboration, then it will be almost impossible finish a project.
The shift from on-premise to virtual teams in the new normal
Transition can be daunting especially if your team has been working in the same building for years or have just decided to outsource some talent. However, if you learn to be agile in managing virtual teams, you'll realize that distance is not a factor, take for example many great developers who have been providing quality services to clients from different continents for years.
We in BlastAsia have been on 100% remote work mode even before the quarantine was announced. Four months after and we’re still working together remotely. Thanks to the best practices above and the technology we use, work is still done efficiently even outside the comforts of the office. To know more about our company and our offering, feel free to visit our website or set a meeting with us here.