Best Practices for Improving Remote Team Communication
Despite all the clear advantages of outsourcing IT Software Development to remote Agile Connected Team, managing remote teams can be challenging. There is, however, one challenge that stands above the rest: Communication.
Communication is the key to the success of any project. Poor communication on remote teams can be the catalyst for severe problems within a team or organization. When teams work remotely, it isn’t always easy to foster open communication. Here are some best practices to overcome this situation with your remote teams:
Anytime you are working with a remote team, it is easy for them to feel in the dark about a lot of information. Over-communication is key. Make sure to engage with your remote team members daily to make sure they are getting enough help or information to get work done. You will have to emphasize this point especially during the early days of the project.
Share Your Goals
Your virtual team needs to understand what the goal is. Make sure to paint the team the roadmap and product vision, and company mission effectively, so they can make smart and informed decisions as they work on the project. This will allow your remote team to become a true extension of your company.
Have Lots of Face Time
Doing daily meetings by phone or over Slack works very well, but video conference calls add the real human element that can help with team building and effective communication over time. You must get to know your team members and build a real relationship with them. The might be remote workers but adding some face to face via video conferencing can add a lot of value and strengthen the relationship.
Overlap Your Work Schedules
We know that working in different time zones can be challenging. Look into offering flexible working hours for your remote developers with core hours falling within your HQ work times. If the time zone difference is vast, make sure there are plenty of tools and rituals in place that encourage offline knowledge sharing. We also recommend scheduling as many sync meetings as needed.
Tools to Improve Remote Team Communication
Streamlined communication on remote teams is the basis for a high-performance, transparent, and cohesive team. This will allow reinforcing a collaborative culture that will strengthen the team. But to strengthen the communication between teams, every organization will need to establish a set of tools. Our delivery model emphasizes more on project communication thus supported by the use of the following tools:
- Hangouts or Webex: Both are great communication tools to interact via text, voice, or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group.
- Slack: This is essentially a chat room designed to replace email as our primary method of communication and sharing. At Sngular, we not only use Slack as a chat tool, but we also use it to spread our company culture across regions. A lot of knowledge sharing, company-wide communications, and even memes are shared via Slack.
- Basecamp: This is a real-time project management tool that helps our teams organize projects to reflect how different groups will work together on a segment of the project.
- Jira and Confluence: This is another real-time project management tool that helps our teams organize projects to reflect how different groups will work together on a segment of the project. This tool helps us to create an open collaboration culture and let the rest of the team know what each other is working on.
- No email (for real). We try to avoid email as much as possible. Quick calls, one on ones, slack, all help us support the communication of a project.