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How to manage your tech team working from home or outsourcing developers efficiently

Managing outsourcing developers or having your local team being forced to work from home due to COVID-19 can be tough. Managers can struggle to improve productivity, enhance communication, and sustain the performance of their remote tech teams. Since everyone has to cope with this unprecedented crisis positively, what can we do, as techies?

Fortunately, the working process of Inspius has been designed for virtual teams to achieve efficient collaboration and maintain effective communication. Below are three simple tips to make the most out of the whole “work from home” situation:

1. Utilizing tech tools for productivity and communication

In normal conditions, your team may have already used some set of tools to support your daily tasks. Working from home requires you to utilize these tools more than ever as they are the main facilitators of productivity and communication.

How to manage your tech team working from home or outsourcing developers efficiently - G Suite or Office 365.
G Suite or Office 365? Pick the one that suit you most

Below is Our recommended list of tools proven to be useful for tech companies:

  • Communication (chat apps):
  • Conference and meeting:
  • Online office suites:
  • Cloud storages:
    • Google Drive for unlimited storage for photos, videos, and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
    • Sync for advanced security features and unlimited file sizes
    • OneDrive for Microsoft Office and Windows users
    • Dropbox for fast syncing over your local network
  • Project/Tasks management:
    • Trello for intuitively simple boards, lists & cards
    • Wrike for the clean and user-friendly interfaces
    • Asana for larger projects and free up to 15 members
    • Atlassian JIRA for multiple purposes: bug, issue, feature, task tracking
  • Codes/ Source codes management app:

Take a look at this list, and you can get some options for your team to improve internal communication and boost productivity to the max.

2. Clear KPIs to sustain the team’s performance

While it is hard to track your developers’ working motivation when there is no face-to-face interaction, using measurable KPIs to track performance is the best way to manage the team’s performance. By setting up a transparent KPI system, you are not only helping yourself to lead the team better but also encouraging your team members to see what they need to focus on.

No more close communication at offices

Below are a few simple steps to build a good KPI system:

  1. Build a task list based on your master plan: In a software development team, a master plan is one of the most important sources of information. Make use of it, break each task down into practical KPIs for each team member.
  2. Develop clear and achievable KPIs: Clear, feasible, and measurable KPIs are critical to avoid misunderstandings, enhance working motivation, and improve the team’s performance. Do not hesitate to use our free-to-download KPI sheet to create the best KPI list for your team!
  3. Make sure everyone follows: While task list and KPIs are critical to the team, managers need to ensure that everyone is on the same page and no issue left unaddressed. One way to do this is to create a chat group in which team members can report their daily completed tasks and raise their concerns, managers or other team members can support them. Check the below example.
  4. Welcome feedback and cultivate self-discipline: Some managers try to build a management system to micro-manage their team. They end up either putting extra stress on team members or make the team waste too much time on completing unnecessary reports. To avoid these issues, you should always welcome the team to give feedback, keep things simple, focus on what is vital to your organization. Remember, a KPI system cannot help someone who does not have self-discipline.
How to manage your tech team working from home or outsourcing developers efficiently - Team daily report on skype
An example of a daily team report

3. Improve the working process

As we mention in our blog post, 3 mistakes Singapore early-stage tech startups make developing products and How early-stage tech startups can use SCRUM on product development, a flexible framework like SCRUM can help your tech team to quickly adapt to any market changes and turn challenges into your advantages. Based on our experiences, SCRUM is one of the best workflows for remote teams.

You can refer to the full list of SCRUM advantages in our previous post:

  1. Delight your users with great flexibility: SCRUM leaves room for constant improvements along the development process.
  2. Reduce the cost of defects: By frequently releasing small pieces of functionality, you can avoid hidden errors, which are hard to identify from the beginning of the development process.
  3. Improve odds of success in a dynamic and complex market: Since a new feature is frequently delivered, integrated, and tested, it can receive early feedback from the market and enhance its business values.
  4. Cultivate learning and growing spaces for your team members due to SCRUM’s knowledge-sharing nature.

So if you are not using SCRUM framework, and struggling with the “work-from-home” situation, maybe this is the time to change your team’s process. You can read more about SCRUM here.

Zoom call screen - working from home
SCRUM requires daily team meetings, and you can easily do it via an application like Zoom.

4. Embrace hardship, unleash opportunity

There is a saying in Vietnamese which goes like “Trong nguy co co” (turning crisis into opportunity). Thus, the Covid-19 pandemic can threaten your business but can also unlock new opportunities for improvement. If you are a manager in a tech company, helping your development team to adapt to new situations quickly allows your business to move faster than your competitors.

If you find it hard to expand or build your software development team as Covid-19 disrupts your recruitment processes, let us help you set up a SCRUM team. With our certified SCRUM masters and effective practices of agile methodology, we are always ready to jump in and help you to develop any projects successfully. 

Drop us an inquiry to discuss how we can help!

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