When building a remote development team, every business owner is looking for motivated and talented people that will support his product vision and ensure it is transformed into a competitive and market-ready solution. However, cooperation with geographically dispersed teams often comes with a number of risks which can be easily minimized by adopting the right product development strategy.
In this article, we'll talk about best approaches for a successful project launch and useful tips that will help you avoid team fragmentation and facilitate your cooperation with remote employees.
Where to Start? The 3 Pillars of a Successful Project Launch
As software engineers often have numerous options on their plates, it’s important to have a hiring strategy in place. Hence, the first step is developing an efficient hiring pipeline which starts by analyzing your needs, devising an attractive employee incentive program, and a viable recruitment strategy targeted at specific skills and competencies.
This way, you’ll not only accelerate the time-to-hire and attract relevant talent but also figure out all of the necessary roles for your project.
Scope and Role Definition
Next up, you should define key project objectives, stakeholders and milestones. Your objectives should be based on realistic and time-bound estimates that fit your budget and time constraints.
While all individuals and organizations that affect (or are affected by) the execution or outcome of a project should be documented as key stakeholders (e.g., customers, managers, development team members, potential users, investors, etc.). These stakeholders have the power to influence or dictate if the project is a success or not and are also somehow responsible for its final outcome.
As soon as all of the initial estimates are made, you should clearly define the project scope, your end goals, and critical milestones to avoid any requirement creep and ensure timely product delivery.
You must also have a well-thought-out change management process to address any potential scope/requirements changes that may arise during the development life cycle. If you are expecting a large number of changes, be sure to utilize Agile methodologies.
Later, it’s important to plan all the resources required for a successful project launch and determine high-level risks. While planning resources, define key specialists and stages when you might need them, namely:
- Human resources: determine the exact number of specialists required for your project, identify their roles and responsibilities, and appoint people responsible for facilitating functions (employee onboarding, retention, marketing, etc.);
- Technical resources: determine development infrastructure and who is responsible for the environment setup, software deployment, and top performance and security issues;
- Management resources: appoint personnel responsible for product management and solution architecture (often located on the client’s side);
Whereas your foreseeable project risks might include constant change of requirements, unrealistic time and cost estimates, long-range customer reviews, possible budget constraints, and other aspects which regularly cause scope creep.
Tips on Building Smooth Cooperation With a Remote Development Team
As soon as your team is all set up and the project is ready for launch, it's important to take into account the following aspects:
Keep communication lines open
Provide regular feedback, arrange onsite trips, and make sure your in-house and remote development teams can work cohesively towards a shared goal and have all the necessary tools for effective communication, collaboration, and progress tracking. This way your dispersed team will be on the same page as your onsite team and feel like an integral part of your company.
Maintain a sense of integrity
Promote a culture of openness, trust, and transparency by building a healthy work environment where key project stakeholders have an opportunity to communicate their vision, influence critical decisions, and keep track of the latest product updates.
Sustain adequate workload level
Make sure your current workflow is based on realistic estimates and your development team is working in a pleasant environment and at a comfortable pace. This way, they can focus on their core competencies and produce high software quality instead of accumulating large technical debts and working extra miles under constant pressure.
Promote knowledge sharing
Ensure each initiative is welcomed and the flow of ideas is accessible to key members of your dedicated team. Thus you'll encourage your remote development team to speak up and share their thoughts and ideas aimed at growing and enhancing your product.
Provide enough room for growth
Establish a culture of continuous learning and improvement where both in-house and remote employees have an opportunity to grow and polish their skills via conferences, workshops, knowledge sharing sessions, online courses, etc.
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How to Make It All Work?
Unfortunately, not every business executive is capable of ensuring each of these stages is fulfilled in the best possible way. Therefore, we’ve come up with a service idea that helps companies cover all of the necessary procedures: consulting, strategic planning, requirements elicitation, analysis, and documentation.
We call this service Launch Workshop, as it is targeted at enabling and facilitating your cooperation with a remote development team. Our professionals will assist you with the following business aspects:
- Analyzing your existing development process, business needs, and key product requirements;
- Conducting live on-site meetings with your company’s key stakeholders and our technical business consultants;
- Suggesting the optimal team composition and a skill set which perfectly matches your project requirements;
- Develop a structured hiring plan and advise on the procedures required for building a productive software development team;
- Analyzing and identifying key risks, process gaps and developing a risk response strategy;
- Developing a comprehensive onboarding plan for your new development team;
- Documenting and presenting the results in the form of a detailed action plan;
Our service is best for:
- Large companies with established development processes that want to strategically expand their engineering capabilities;
- Start-ups or small companies that don’t have a clear project management strategy or understanding of all the necessary procedures;
- Companies that want to double-check and validate their business plan with the help of experienced IT business consultants;
If you are looking for professional IT assistance to set up and retain a long-term relationship with a remote development team - we can help.
Just contact our experts, and we will enable you to scale-up your business and find the right set of specialists and value-added services based on your specific needs.