Managing outsourcing developers or having your local team be 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:
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.
Below is Our recommended list of tools proven to be useful for tech companies:
- Communication (chat apps):
- Slack for a chat-powered workplace
- Twist for threaded conversation-centric chat
- Microsoft Teams for discussions about documents and meetings
- Google Hangouts Chat for following up on conversations
- Flock for making decisions in chat
- Discord for always-on voice chat
- Conference and meeting:
- FaceTime for one-to-one calls
- Gruveo for in-browser calls
- Slack for calls with team chat
- Zoom for reliability
- Google Hangouts for quick calls from a Google calendar
- GoToMeeting for professional video conferencing
- Online office suites:
- Microsoft Office Online for web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
- G Suite for Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more
- 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:
- Codes/ Source codes management app:
- Git and Github
- Azure DevOps Server (Microsoft Team Foundation Server)
- Helix Core
- AWS CodeCommit
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.
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.
Below are a few simple steps to build a good KPI system:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Delight your users with great flexibility: SCRUM leaves room for constant improvements along the development process.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!