Tips to Manage Remote Developers


As more and more people around the world start working remotely, tech managers are entrusted with the task of managing them effectively. However, in the IT industry, tech managers have been handling remote developers or teams of developers for quite some time now. Tech companies have been outsourcing web and mobile app development to off-shore developers because of various considerations including technical expertise and cost savings. However, it has become extremely important for tech managers of these companies to focus on optimizing collaboration with remote developers to derive maximum benefits. As such, the aim of this post is to provide some tips to tech managers as to how they can best manage remote developers.

Ensure the rules for cooperation are set clearly

Any project will be only as good as those creating it and the information exchanged with them. Therefore, everything starts with establishing clear-cut rules as regards the cooperation between the manager and the remote development team. This is important because all team members should be clear about their role, understand the objectives and challenges of the project, and meticulously follow the agreed strategy.

Tech managers should also have a clear idea as to how they are going to manage the project. In the IT sector, and especially when undertaking software development projects, the Agile Scrum methodology is commonly employed for managing processes. This is one of the most effective methods that can be employed for managing projects. In addition to allowing managers to have control over the processes, it helps in efficiently organizing the jobs of the team members.

Schedule meetings with the help of Google calendar

Remote developers may be located anywhere in the world and even in different time zones. It is therefore extremely important to plan in advance and schedule project meetings keeping in mind the convenience of both parties. It is also equally important for both parties to be aware of the schedules so that it becomes easier to organize work and achieve the desired progress.

If periodic check-points are required, tech managers should set fixed dates in the calendar and send invitations to team members. In addition, the systematization of working hours will have a positive impact on the efficiency of the employees. A well-organized schedule can be easily created by accessing the Google calendar and synchronizing it with the accounts of team members. This helps to smoothen out the management of the entire process.

Tech managers may use tools to improve their work

Tech managers can make use of a number of tools to effectively manage remote development teams. While some of the tools help managers effectively manage projects, some others enable communication with the teams. Some tools help them manage their tasks better. The different tools that tech managers can consider are: 

  • Project/task management – Jira, Trello, Todoist, Harvest, Mavenlink, PayDirt, and Basecamp
  • Document storage – Google Drive, Jira, and TipeHive
  • Teleconferences or online meetings –, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Skype

Hire the Right Developers

When hiring remote developers, tech managers should ensure they are working with those that they can fully trust. This is because the key to success is clear mutual understanding. A lack of confidence in the remote team may prompt the manager to develop over-bearing behavior towards the developers. This can negatively impact the quality of work.

Communication is crucial

Understanding the needs of the developers and organizing one-to-one meetings go a long way in effectively managing remote development teams. Talking to individual team members helps to build a strong bonding that goes beyond the work-related relationship. It also helps tech managers to get valuable inputs and effectively help them to meet their specific needs. This ensures a more relaxed work environment.

Transparency is very important

Everyone in the team should have a complete understanding of all aspects related to the ongoing project. Team members need to be regularly updated about the developments. Weekly summaries can be organized to inform team members about the latest changes and as to what the progress is. This helps improve employee involvement and awareness. After each meeting, prepare and circulate among team members the minutes of the meeting, a short note that covers the topics discussed. This is the best way to make sure that nothing is missed out and every member of the team refers to the summary report at any time.

Final Thoughts

The remote working trend is expected to pick up further momentum and become the industry norm in the near future. By implementing the suggestions given team managers can effectively manage remote developers and lead them on the right path. Finally, studies show that remote working employees are likely to be up to 25 percent more efficient than when working in offices.