Building a development team can be difficult and challenging from the start. Building a remote development team, well...you can imagine that the challenge moves up a knot. You want to create a team that you can manage from any part of the world. Either that you are traveling, or members of the team are, or simply by your distributed nature, you need to have an effective cohesive team.
In order to do this you have to take in consideration some simple steps, that not only will make your life much easier, but they will also help you out in choosing the right people to be by your side.
Step 1 - Identify your need
Why do you want to build up a remote development team in the end? We have a couple of reasons why we chose remote:
- Saving money - we have been telling you in previous posts about the benefits building your software team with remote talent and making your office an online one
- Reduce costs - finding a developer outside your area can downsize the expenses
- Other reasons:
- Working with diverse and interesting people
- Different viewpoints
- Different ways of thinking
Step 2 - Treat them all the same
It can be easy to build a core team that is available at an office where you also work, that work through a specific way, and randomly manage the remote team. But, is that fair? And more especially: is it fair to your company?
You don’t have to go completely remote from the beginning. You can easily use the same tools and processes as in managing the office team to manage the remote one and treat all the same. So, indifferent where your team is, they have the same day-to-day practices and keep the level of functionality the same.
Step 3 - Using successful tools
This is a mandatory step and it will help you grow a lot if you invest in successful tools that bring your team together. Don’t be afraid to test what works best. Beside the fact that you will select powerful company tools together with your team, it will also be fun and push you together a bit more. We have grown in the past year simply because we identified our:
Step 4 - Loads of documentation
Asynchronous communication is the main communication in a remote development team. Beside the difference that comes from time zones, there’s a difference of schedules in general as well. We have found to love this type of communication indifferent of where you are. You can:
- Leave comments
- Ask for feedback
- Integrate tools
All in a more diplomatic way, rather than annoying your colleague, or disrupting something important that he’s working on.
Step 5 - Hiring experienced remote talent
This is not a job for anyone. Basically, you are somehow your own boss when it comes to administration of your schedule. It can be really hard to have the self discipline and self motivation for remote work. Having somebody in your company that has done it before, can join your team really fast and also can actually help you in developing a remote team even more. No one says to not hire people that haven’t done freelancing. Give them a chance. But also get some people that can really guide you into moving forward.
Step 6 - People don’t actually change
Wouldn’t it be great if you hire a new remote candidate and he immediately starts doing things exactly the way you want them? Such an impossible dream. We all are different and we all have our little quirks in life and also in work.
When it comes to choosing the right person for a remote role, we have found precious to take in consideration:
- Timing: are they on time on the interview or on any set call or chat? If so, you can depend on this person to be on time with your clients or any meeting for that matter.
- Communication: is the new candidate proactive, or does he take time in explaining and sharing information, or how responsive they are on chat? On a remote team you want people that DO.
- Connection: the only thing that matters in a remote collaboration is the technical. Your computer to be up to date, your internet connection stable or your video calls without interruptions.
Step 7 - Try it out
You never know what a remote development team can do for you unless you actually try it. Don’t be scared to take on 1 remote developer and test out how it would be. Maybe it will be your miracle for the business!