How to entrust your IT project to a team of remote developers – the smooth way
Web development, IT outsourcing. How can you ensure you’re off to a good start when delegating your project to a team of remote developers? Working methods, communication, level of experience of the project manager… What factors does the success of an IT project developed by an outsourced team depend on?
From Facebook to Amazon, Twitter to Google, rising COVID-19 cases have prompted companies around the world to ask their employees to switch to working remotely from home.
In the years to come, working with a remote development team will become a very common scenario.
Large countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been heavily affected by the spread of the virus. It’s difficult to predict when these countries will return to normal, with people returning to their offices and less telecommuting – if it ever happens at all. In light of this – and due to other reasons – enlisting the services of a remote developer team in countries like Madagascar, Vietnam or Mauritius has become a much more profitable and efficient option for a large number of SMEs.
A smooth transition to remote development has many benefits:
- In terms of managing your resources: you can keep your best internal talents focused on your business.
- In terms of customer satisfaction: you can meet delivery deadlines imposed by customers, even if your developers are on sick leave, for example.
Here’s what to keep in mind when you’ve decided to entrust your web application project with a team based in another country that’s potentially far away.
1. Define the working conditions with the remote team:
Before outsourcing web development, define your goals and the means you’ll use to achieve them. It’s important to define your expectations and discuss them with all members of the team. List the topics and issues that require attention and that the remote developer team will have to adhere to.
- Availability: What time do you want the remote team to be available and contactable online each day? During which time slots do you want remote developers to work with your developers? Consider the time differences for each country. If you’re working with Madagascar for example, companies in Europe will only have one hour of jet lag in the summer and two hours in winter. With Mauritius, two hours in summer and three hours in winter.
- Data management: What tools will be used to store and share data securely?
- Get the right tools: What tools do you want to use for tracking projects and sharing tasks and various documents? Or would you rather be advised on the most relevant tools to use? Any computer engineering company worthy of the name will be able to offer you a range of tools adapted to the size and scope of your project.
Productivity measurement and KPI monitoring: How will you go about measuring the progress of projects and monitor results? What activity-monitoring KPIs do you want to set up within the remote team? There are many to choose from, and each must make sense for your specific activity. They can include:
- The level of customer satisfaction.
- The velocity of the team.
- Budget fluctuations.
- The percentage of tasks completed.
2. Establish a framework of rules for good communication between your team and the remote team of developers
Communication has always been a critical aspect of working with a remote development team successfully. Communication needs to be painless in order that the demands and needs of each party are fully understood. Communication via instant messengers such as Slack or Skype is preferably carried out on a daily basis, in order to allow each team member smooth access to information. These tools have video calling options and also allow you to organize conversations by channel, project or topic.
3. Rely on experienced project management for remote project orchestration
In order to stack the odds in your favor, it’s advised that you use an experienced project manager when managing a team of developers remotely. The project manager should have at least three or even four years of experience. You need to be certain that this profile will be able to juggle between: the requirements of the customer, end users, developers and the project’s effective management. A seasoned project manager will be able to raise alerts on the project in good time, before they escalate into something more serious.
4. A security strategy must be designed and deployed on the project from Day 1
Set up a data security checklist to follow, like an airplane pilot does for every flight.
Securing data is a very important aspect in IT project management. It’s essential that you have an information security policy in place before switching to remote work. You can ask your remote team to create passwords using a recognized password manager, such as Dashlane for example, and update them frequently.
5. Champion your corporate culture without moderation
A positive corporate culture is important for employee engagement. According to a report by Gallup, an American company specializing in management research services, human resources and statistics, corporate culture is among the top five reasons employees leave their employers.
For example, in order to establish a positive working culture, you might consider traveling and meeting with your offshore development team once every six months or annually.
There are also many ways to maintain a good corporate culture through digital channels. For example:
- Regular videoconferences,
- Rewards in the form of gift cards,
- Informal group discussions
All of these little touches can make your team feel more connected and foster stronger group cohesion and a stronger sense of belonging.
A serious offshore IT development company needs to take care of its teams and keep its employees – in this case developers – happy within the company. An IT development company that doesn’t take care of the well-being of its developers should absolutely not be taken into consideration for your IT project.
To help you choose the best company that will offer you the best remote developer team for your expectations, budget and goals, read our article, which provides some useful tips and insights. Customer references, developers’ skill levels, time difference, suitable contract types… there are many criteria that must be carefully considered before kicking off a project. And if you still don’t know how to go about it, contact our fabulous team. We’ll be happy to guide you and set up a team of developers for your web, mobile or software project.