Have you ever wondered how large tech companies with remote teams can ship products so quickly? While no piece of software is perfect, some companies are extremely good at shipping functional software fast with minimal bugs.
Meeting intense deadlines to produce a quality product is challenging enough. To see a high-quality product shipped by a remote team is a sign of high-level organization, communication, talent, and commitment – otherwise known as a strong team culture. A strong culture is the backbone of every team – even remote teams.
If you’re impressed by remote teams who deliver on time and on point, it’s no accident – there is a secret to how they accomplish their goals. Looking for inspiration to get your team on track? Here’s how the top companies foster effective habits within their teams.
Top companies hire A-players
Hiring A-players from the beginning is imperative for success. Remote teams are essentially self-directed, even though many receive their tasks from the top down. With self-direction comes the possibility for procrastination and sloppy work. Having a remote team full of A-players is the foundation for producing high-quality products and happy clients.
Each team member is considered valuable
How many companies really take the time to honor, acknowledge, and connect with each team player? In the gig economy especially, many remote workers do their work, send an invoice, get paid, and move on to the next gig. With this way of operating, people are disposable and they know it. When people know they’re disposable, they won’t put in more than minimal effort.
Companies that take the time to connect with all team members – employees and contractors – are more likely to foster authentic connections. Authentic connections make team members feel valued and appreciated for their work, which makes them more likely to go above and beyond what’s required.
Communication is clear and direct
Clear and direct communication is essential for remote teams to function cohesively. With a remote team, most communication takes place online so it’s important to have the right tools. Project management software is critical for project development, but it doesn’t cover all communication needs.
Communicating instructions to a remote team is the easy part. Fostering transparent communication between team members and managers is another game. For that, successful companies check in on their team members personally via email. They also welcome feedback from team members and reply to each comment, question, and concern – especially rejected requests. Companies that explain why certain requests for change have been denied earn serious respect from their team members.
Zoom sessions are structured
Many businesses use Zoom for video conferencing. While Zoom provides a platform for affordable high-quality video meetings, teams are responsible for creating successful meetings. A successful meeting requires structure.
Structuring Zoom sessions with a remote team sounds simple on the surface, but it requires planning. You need more than an itinerary that gets handed out a day before the meeting.
Remote team members need to plan for and be active in team meetings rather than passively absorbing information. However, participation should be brief and structured to maximize time.
For a meeting to be truly successful, you need team participation that begins long before the meeting. For example, say you have a team of ten people working on one website development project. Each team member should bring the following to the meeting:
- A brief status update as it pertains to the overall project. Each team member should craft a brief status update so all team members know where each part of the project stands. Updates should be explained in a way that others will understand.
- A brief list of places where they are “stuck” or cannot move forward. In every project, there will be dependencies and situations where a team member needs simple information from another team member to move forward. These issues need to be resolved quickly.
- A list of potential issues they see coming from within or outside of their department. Sometimes team members can see future issues before others notice. It’s important to give team members the opportunity to share what they see. Some issues might already be known, but not always.
The above items are just an example of what team members might share during a structured Zoom meeting. What’s important to share will vary by company. You may need to hold several meetings to identify the structure and components that work for your particular business.
Company leaders are transparent
Remote teams don’t get the pleasure of seeing managers and CEOs in person, so it’s hard to feel people out. When companies are transparent with remote teams, those teams feel more at ease with the people they’re working for. Transparency benefits the business, too. Remote teams who know what’s going on are more likely to step up their support when the company is in trouble.
Looking for a cohesive, effective software development team? If you’re ready to launch a new project, look no further. At ZAGA, our nearshore development teams are hand-picked for every project to ensure your success. We push for quality and velocity, and continually measure project performance to optimize every step of the way.
Contact us today to explore synergies.