Management of Distributed Development Teams: 5 Key Tips
Managing distributed development teams effectively is one of the responsibilities of an IT company. The sole reason is that these teams are dispersed into different groups. They vary in the skill sets and services that individual members offer. Such differentiation allows IT companies to effectively perform various tasks. Besides, it positively influences the final results of projects and simplifies further planning.
Communication becomes a key binding factor in the process. It needs to stay uncompromised at all times. Therefore, a company must prioritize setting some standard protocols. They ensure proper distributed development for software projects. In this article, we will look at 5 effective tips for the success of such teams. You’ll learn how diverse factors influence a team’s work and why they are important for the project’s success.
What are the 5 Keys to Distributed Development Success in an IT Company?
We’ve learned why distributed software development matters. Now let’s find out more about why you need to ensure its success. There are diverse ways to ensure success in a company offering software development by distribution. Some of them provide a good environment for teams to work effectively. Moreover, they improve the efficiency of teams working in different locations. Here are the key tips and recommendations we will discuss:
- Setting a reasonable work structure;
- Getting everyone acquainted with their tasks;
- Prioritizing proper communication;
- Reorientating your teams;
- Ensuring work flexibility.
These five tips are aimed at not just improving the results of your company’s distributed development teams. They also can positively transform your workflow and increase the productivity of your team members. After learning more about these tips and ways to manage your development, you may also discover how to plan your projects properly. This may help you to reorder your development workflow to get the best results in an optimal amount of time.
Distributed Development Teams: Setting a Reasonable Work Structure
One way to succeed for distributed development teams is to set a reasonable work structure. The company has teams working independently but collaboratively to ensure the software project’s success. This structure must be in place so every team can know its roles, targets, and timelines. It helps to avoid any confusion during the development process. Besides, it ensures every team member knows their exact role in the project.
One of the complications for the development and designing teams could be different time zones. In this case, a proper work structure will allow them to work within a convenient time. It will also help them focus on what the company wants. This work structure may allow developers and engineers to share code knowledge. This way they can design and build the perfect software.
Getting Everyone Acquainted With Their Tasks
When hiring development teams, they should understand their roles and responsibilities. However, having them acquainted or committed to their tasks is still important. This is possible to do either by setting deadlines or monitoring progress. The whole essence is to have developers or engineers focus on the task and limit distractions. This will help with achieving the proper results faster.
Focusing solely on the job is a major problem for skilled individuals working remotely. After working some hours, they could get easily distracted. The time to readjust may be long, automatically increasing project completion time. Understanding what is at stake is somewhat of a tool for efficiency. And efficient working teams are key to the success of a project.
Prioritizing Good Communication with Teams
As aforementioned, distributed software development requires a binding factor – communication. Teams need to communicate with one another to get the project done efficiently. Thanks to technology, people don’t have to meet physically before communicating project progress or challenges. Team members can discuss issues with communication systems. The possible ways of communication between team members may include:
- Team Meetings;
- Zoom Calls;
- Audio or Video Calls;
In the process, team members may develop relationships that would benefit the company. The only problem with this is that some teams complain of network failures. Sometimes it happens due to location differences or other circumstances. However, it is important to understand the situation and choose a communication channel that favors everyone. A lack of the failsafe communication channel compromises remote work on any project.
For example, if your day-to-day operations require using fax, but getting fax machines for every single person working remotely would be too problematic, you could send faxes and create a fax cover sheet online using a mobile app.
Reorientating Teams Regularly in Distributed Development Teams
Another thing that would help the company is to reorientate the teams constantly. All distributed development teams must understand that every action and time spent on a project is important to the final result. That is why teams must work together under a proper and stable structure. This is vitally important even to small projects, such as preparing hotfixes and updates for your software.
And in a geographically distributed structure, teams must understand that nothing is too small to communicate. The least decisions are consequential. Also, if there are challenges or incidents, teams must know the first-hand response to them. This means they should be aware of who to talk to, what strategies to implement, etc. This helps to ensure the task they’re responsible for are performed properly and without any delays.
Ensuring Work Flexibility and Seizing Golden Hours
One more thing to do is to ensure work flexibility and seize golden hours. Normally, geographically distributed development teams won’t have the same time zones. However, it is important to prioritize that golden hour that seems convenient for everyone. Thought-out flexibility is a great way to give your employees more freedom. However, it also helps you ensure that their dedicated tasks are done in accordance with the project plan.
The flexible work option is also great because teams may be able to perform their duties more appropriately. It also is a recommended way to avoid any negative influences on the project roadmap. Still, it requires an individual approach to time planning for each employee. Taking into account the needs of all your team members is a guarantee of an outstanding result.
Managing Distributed Development Teams: Conclusion
Distributed development team management is a huge responsibility in itself. The company head needs to understand why it is important. They also must welcome measures to ensure proper execution. One such way is to appoint team heads and certain individuals to monitor progress and report new developments. Overall, an appropriate communication and work structure path will help push the software company to success.
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