“Teams with more diversity, who look at the world through different lenses of function, gender, ethnicity, personality, experience and perspective, can have a problem-solving advantage over more homogenous groups”
The idea of having a remote team combines the need for diverse talents and the ability to find these talents affordably. It provides team members the opportunity to work in more independent environments. This is something that, according to one survey, 69% of the people say it makes them more productive. However, while the concept of remote teams is fascinating for businesses, it poses a number of challenges at the same time. These include issues like trust, reliability, and communication across time zones.
In order to effectively manage remote teams, experts recommend the use of agile methods. Before we begin to suggest appropriate ways to do this, it is best, to begin with, the basics in order to provide a better foundation for comprehension of the subject.
What is the Agile Methodology?
Agile methodologies are software development methods that involve breaking a traditional project into smaller milestone-centered parts at the end of each of which there is a workable product that can be reviewed by the respective customer.
‘Agile Development’ is an umbrella term that encompasses several software development tools like Scrum, Crystal, Lean Development, etc. While in a normal process, any problems or hindrances are predicted in advance, agile development creates the end product in several parts in order to incorporate advancements and changes in customer requirements effectively.
Steps to manage your remote team
One of the 12 principles of agile development states that effective and efficient communication is only possible through face to face interaction. This has led many people to argue that the idea therefore cannot be applied to remote teams. This is something that is quite far from reality.
Here we discuss ways in which agile methodologies can be applied to remote teams:
a. Communication through technology
This is something that comes to mind about every other individual in the modern age. It is something that revolves around the fact that in the 21st century, ‘face-to-face’ communication has no relation to being in one place. The breadth of applications that allow video and voice communication over long distances can enable different departments and elements of the same team to have seamless ‘face-to-face’ interactions.
b. Utilize effective communication
Agile development is centered on the fact that in the age of rapidly evolving technology, businesses can stay in touch with their developers throughout the process of development. Thus, when a deliverable is completed for testing, it falls in line with the organizational requirements. This is something that was amiss in the traditional approach where a project brief was submitted to the development team and then customers only saw what the product was, once it was final and ready to be tested; a stage where tweaks and edits become impossible. Therefore, businesses should utilize this to their advantage rather than taking it for granted.
c. Don’t overdo it
While agile development promotes intermittent feedback and communication, there is a line that separates effective communication from annoyance and distraction. Bugging a developer every now and then for updates is counter-productive. Develop a timeline for expected submissions and feedback, then follow it strictly and instruct the developer to do the same. This ensures that the project is completed without major disruptions and disputes.
Agile methodologies open an array of possibilities that make it possible for customers and businesses to develop products that are more in sync with current trends and their own requirements too. However, the secret lies in knowing how to effectively execute it.