In today’s business world, you need an efficient team now more than ever. How do you make sure the people within your organization are effective contributors if your company is scattered across the globe? We are giving you three hands-on tips which, as our experience proves, have the strongest effect.
Choose the Right Person to Join your Dedicated Team
The first two things you need to know are your expectations and what kind of person you are looking for. You do not necessarily need a top senior developer. Depending on your project, you may be able to save money by balancing your developers with the project complexity level. Of course, to be on the safe side, keeping a senior developer on staff might not be a bad idea. The best way to test people is by starting off with a small project. Here are some simple steps to help you choose the right team.
- Scrutinize CVs of the candidates. Pay attention to relevant experience and writing style. If a résumé contains fundamental mistakes, what kind of errors can you expect from them in the future?
- Interview candidates. Talk to people. See what they are up to, go beyond work; ask questions to get a feel for who they are and how they might contribute.
- Include a remote skills test to ensure your new employee or contractor can hit the ground running. Nothing is more frustrating than hiring someone who cannot adhere to deadlines, delivers poor work, or is otherwise unproductive.
- Next is the boarding process. Your boarding process is your chance to educate your new employee about your project. This can be done by you or a project manager. Make sure all login credentials are created, and your new talent is equipped with everything needed for success.
- Don’t be condescending—treat your new employee with respect. Their success means your success.
Establish Effective Communication
Communication issues have different effects depending on the medium you choose. Are you positioning yourself to take advantage of your team? Full-time employees can be given an enormous workload—this remains true about remote dedicated teams as well. Here, at HQSoftware, we encourage customers to stick with the option of a Dedicated Software Development Team for this particular reason. If you are not sure about workload or the size of your team you can start with hiring just one developer. Other resources (front-end developers or designers) can be involved as needed. This option proved to be the best choice, especially for small or support projects. Otherwise, keep in mind that various members of your Dedicated Software Development Team might have other clients to balance with your work. These are usually freelancers, not full-time employees. Your job is to set expectations with everyone—full-time employees and freelancers alike—to ensure deadlines, tasks, budget and expected future workload are communicated to your team. To facilitate team management, keep these two points in mind.
- Organize tasks into sprints that span one or two weeks in length.
- Setup communication rules. Other than routine discussion, meet with your team one-on-one for 15-20 minutes to discuss issues and get a weekly status update.
We would strongly recommend hiring a Project Manager. This is the person who acts as a go-between you and the remote team. If the team needs help, has questions, or otherwise needs to communicate with the business, your PM will be their point of contact. Your PM should view your project from an enterprise perspective. If you talk directly to developers, you might end up with completed tasks; however, you will not have the working IT solution you are after. Here is a list of tools to make remote management easier. You may be familiar with the majority of these tools already, and many of them are free.
- HipChat and Skype are real-time chat tools; Skype includes a phone application.
- Jira by Atlassian, Trello and BaseCamp make project management easier with project organization, task tracking, frequent email updates—all through web-based applications.
- GoogleDocs allows more than one person to edit crucial files at the same time. Files created here are compatible with Microsoft Office and automatically saved.
- GoToMeeting, Team Viewer, and Join.me allow you to meet with your team in real-time with video, audio, and screen-sharing.
- Github is a robust repository where you can manage your project’s data. Just don’t forget to make frequent local backups.
- DropBox, GoogleDrive, and others allow you to send and share files among the team.
- FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software and service that lets you invoice, bill, keep track of hours, and manage the financials of your business.
- Sidekick– an awesome tool to track your emails and see whether your team receives all your tasks.
We concern ourselves with the productivity of your teams. These products are not just suggestions; we use them ourselves. Internally, we created software that integrates with Jira to help us track overall workload and budget—without duplicate reports—to help our customers be both effective and efficient.
Create a Culture of Success
Reward the team with more than just their periodic paychecks. Cost-effective ways might include gift cards to online retail outlets, bonuses, or simply a thank you. We used to have a customer who sent us a bottle of good wine roughly twice a year on “special” occasions for things like performing urgent tasks. Reasonable bonuses did even better. Just make sure they will go to the team; they do not need to make an extra margin for the supplier. Ensure the bonuses are neither too small nor too large compared to what people earn. We are often amazed at how productive a happy employee is. A sense of belonging is often important to people. Such motivated people will always be willing to go an extra mile for your success. We are always interested in what you have to tell us; these comments often get passed around the office. They help us help you. Tell us your story. Are your experiences the same?
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