Over the past few years, the world of work has been shifted dramatically. There has been a major move to remote working and a large increase in people wanting to freelance. There are many reasons why professionals want to start freelancing, including the flexibility it offers. For the most part, freelancers can choose when they want to work, which projects they want to work on and where they want to work from.
Technology is one of the biggest aspects that makes it easier for skilled and talented workers, especially IT professionals, to turn to freelance. For example, there are faster internet connections, better remote collaboration software, and online platforms that connect companies with top freelancing Full Stack developer talent.
Another important factor that is driving the popularity of freelancing is the flexibility it offers. Freelancing gives professionals the ability to maintain a better work-life balance and allows them to choose where they want to work from. Many freelancers work from remote destinations around the world.
The freelancing trend has caused many businesses to turn to hire distributed teams. Distributed teams involve employees working in a variety of different locations. These teams can sometimes be made up of in-house developers, as well as remote Full Stack developer experts.
Communication and Collaboration Tools for Distributed Agile Teams
The options are endless when it comes to tools businesses can use for their distributed development teams. From communication apps to software for managing schedules, these tools help to recreate the traditional office so teams can collaborate with ease. Here are a few of the most beneficial tools for distributed agile teams:
Asana is a task management application that helps remote workers and businesses to collaborate more effectively. This tool helps to organize tasks, stay up to date, and hit deadlines.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that enables remote teams to manage their conversations into team channels for more efficient communication. This app also allows for file sharing between teams and departments.
- Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a popular chat tool for teams using the Microsoft brand. It enables team members to instant message each other and store files, making accessibility easy and effective.
Confluence is a collaborative and communication tool designed to store and share knowledge, create action plans, document team goals, and motivate team participation. This tool also includes built-in project plan templates for most industries.
Trello makes it easy to stay organized and collaborate on projects. Remote teams can easily break down projects into smaller, more manageable steps, assign task ownership, and confirm deadlines.
With the right tools in place, businesses can enjoy many benefits when adopting agile teams for software development. Some of these include:
Building a Culture With Distributed Teams
It takes a lot to foster a connection between a business and its employees. It takes great communication, mindfulness, and considering how to best allow employees to work together.
Company culture is essential as it affects how employees and customers perceive a business and this largely determines how successful your business will be. Because distributed agile teams are physically distanced, creating a culture can be a challenge. However, the need is often greater because there are no in-person interactions.
Here are a few steps to guide businesses to build a culture with distributed teams:
- Set a foundation of trust
Trust is an important aspect for any employee. Teams want to feel safe and secure with the company they are employed with. Trust can be built through communication, transparency, and open-office policies.
- Make effective onboarding a priority
Employees want to feel part of a team right from the start. Therefore, the onboarding process is essential. During this time, businesses have to create a sense of community and the availability of key resources.
- Communicate missions and goals
Everyone on the team must understand the company’s vision. So, businesses must describe their mission, communicate it to teams, and carefully continue to reinforce it.
- Establish regular rituals
Businesses must set recurring meetings to establish a schedule for projects. The more routines businesses put in place, the more secure distributed teams will feel.
- Collect feedback and make changes
The best way to find out if employees are happy with their working environment is to regularly get feedback from them and make changes accordingly.
How to Manage Distributed Teams Using Agile Techniques
A distributed team of agile developers can develop high-quality products and work in a competitive environment. However, businesses have to cope with several challenges, including cultural differences, language barriers, and time zone variations, while managing their teams. Therefore, the below agile techniques should be implemented to ensure a smoother management process:
- Invest in collaboration technology
Effective collaboration is at the core of any successful partnership with a distributed team. Therefore, businesses must take the time to identify and source the best technology to ensure smooth and consistent collaboration.
- Consider everyone’s time-zone
When a business manages team members at various sites, it should demonstrate mutual respect by sharing the responsibility of working odd hours. This not only makes it fairer but also creates a sense of empathy.
- Conduct regular meetings
To keep everyone updated and all deadlines on track, it is necessary to have regular meetings, both in teams and one-on-one.
- Allow teams to make suggestions
Employees work better when they are allowed to give feedback and share ideas. When managing a distributed team, businesses must welcome suggestions and implement them if they benefit everyone.
Other points businesses should consider when managing remote teams, especially in software development, include:
The Bottom Line
Many techniques help run an agile distributed team. However, the most important thing for such a team is to have a safe and secure environment to work in. Without a well-established and positive culture, and effective tools and processes, no businesses will succeed working with distributed teams.
Once a business is comfortable with an agile distributed team model, there will also automatically be clear changes in communication and collaboration. And these will always translate into better delivery of products to customers.