How to Manage Your Remote Software Development Team

How to Manage Your Remote Software Development Team

Table of Contents

Managing your remote software development team isn’t easy. Instill trust, create accountability, use training and tools, and avoid micromanaging to manage your team successfully.

Are you aware that Software Developer is within the top five remote jobs? Its expected growth rate is 24% by 2026. 

If your company is planning to expand your services, you will be losing top talents to your competition unless you know how to manage your remote software development team well.

It is not easy to manage a team of employees, especially when they are working remotely across multiple time zones. However, by following some best practices, you will be able to manage your remote software development team while increasing productivity.

Let’s get started with!

5 best practices to manage remote software development team

1. Instill trust in team members

No matter how many tools your organization uses, it is the people who will be using them. As a manager, your task is to select the best-qualified people for the vacancy and the best fit for your organization’s goals.    

Core competency is important while hiring employees, but apart from that, you should also focus on instilling trust.

A negative working atmosphere is one of the factors responsible for creating stress. And a stressful environment will restrain creativity, drive, and passion, thus impacting productivity and innovation at work. 

Trust, on the other hand, improves teamwork, collaboration, and organizational alignment. Thus, it becomes crucial to instill trust in your employees right from the start. 

To build trust, having open and honest communication is key. And you can have all the team members on the same page, regardless of which part of the world they are working from, by communicating your core company values, mission, and vision.

When you build trust, you will also find that it automatically enhances decision-making. Since trust goes both ways, when your team members trust you, and you trust them back, you are more likely to empower your team to make their own decisions. 

2. Make team members accountable

The second crucial factor to consider is accountability. A study investigating the impact of accountability on employee performance in an organization found that accountability can improve employees’ performance.

The study points out that managers can implement accountability for positive results by using satisfactory performance management principles. You can use performance assessment programs to create expectations in employees’ performance plans.

To create the right environment for positive accountability, you will have to include employees while setting clear, challenging, yet attainable goals and objectives. The team members should also be given the authority to accomplish the same.

Moreover, you should offer support in all aspects of their job, monitor progress, and deliver feedback that includes credibility performance measures. Also, arm them with the right tools and training required to accomplish the job.

3. Take training seriously

According to statistics, inadequate training can cost you up to $13.5 million/1000 employees yearly. Not only that, by offering ineffective training, you will always be looking for new talents. 

Other stats also suggest that 40% of employees who receive poor job training resign in the first year.

When training your employees, see that you are not only focusing on their existing positive traits but also working on mitigating shortcomings and addressing weak spots you have identified before.

Since software development team managers dealing with remote teams usually have to take over projects they sometimes are not familiar with on short notice, internal communications are often neglected in such situations. 

Time is precious but so is collaborative teamwork. Managers should ensure to spend time learning more about their teams, individual members, and impending issues.

Also, make sure that the emotional distance between you and your team doesn’t pose a problem. New team members might be reluctant to come forward. As an efficient remote employee manager, you should foresee this and encourage more personal engagement by being proactive. There’s no point in having a team of skilled remote developers if they don’t share ideas with you.

Implementing cloud-based learning software such as Loop can improve your training results. It is a mobile-friendly remote training tool built to increase engagement, enhance data-enabled decision-making, and enable real-time tracking. 70% of employees think that training could allow them to be more focused on the job and manage time better. So, implementing training tools can highly benefit your organization.

4. Implement work tools for software developers

There are a plethora of tools out there designed to meet different needs. Here are some of the best tools for software developers:

  • Communication tool: A fully remote team can rely on Slack for seamless communication. It offers direct messaging and chat-rooms that can be organized by topic. Many businesses opt for this tool as it allows you to be creative. For instance, you can use a Slack journal to jot down what you are working on. It also has a video conferencing feature.
  • Programming tool: GitHub is the go-to software for software development teams. It will help you to collaborate on projects from beginning to end. You can easily review code, propose changes, and automate workflow, among others. GitHub integrates with several remote work tools including Slack, and Azure Pipelines.
  • Security tool: Security should be among your top concerns, especially since you are working remotely. Use high-quality VPNs such as NordVPN to secure your smartphone and laptop. You will have to pay to use it, but you will have a strong defense, and you will not have to worry about your data getting sold.

5. Avoid micromanaging

If you come from a developer background, you will be tempted to micromanage your team. Instead of offering solutions and providing details on how to execute tasks, focus on communicating the issues and project goals lest you end up losing too much time. Your employees are hired to develop the software, so let them do it. 

Micromanaging can also easily lead to unsatisfied staff as they will feel undervalued and left without an opportunity to be creative or prove themselves.

So, Manage Your Remote Team Effectively! 

Managing your remote software development team can be a taxing job as a manager. However, if you follow the right practices, you can facilitate cooperation with your remote team members and work toward achieving your organization’s goals.

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