Distributed Development Teams: Take Advantages and Manage Effectively
Nowadays, more and more IT businesses work with a distributed team – a team of software developers from different cultures. While we’ve shown how out-staffing offers businesses extended technical competence at a minimal cost, there are still doubts remaining.
Will they be resourceful? Will they supply you with high-quality solutions and help you grow your business? What about leading teams that are geographically dispersed? These are difficult questions, but they do have answers.
What is a distributed team?
In most cases, a distributed team is a hybrid team. It is similar to a traditional team in that it has a defined project, purpose, and mission, but it works across different time zones and locations. They may be close by and come into the HQ as needed, or they could be thousands of miles distant in another country.
What are the advantages of a distributed team?
1. Distributed teams bring fresh initiatives.
According to Robert Jones, author of “Working Virtually: Challenges of Virtual Teams”, the build of in-house solid teams is no longer an optimal choice. The issue is obvious: individuals become too used to each other. They think, talk, and even order their burgers with the same sauces. It ultimately leads to the reality that continual collaborative work is a poor source of innovation.
But please don’t get us wrong! Building a team of individuals that work well together for a long time is a great — and respectable — thing. However, when it comes to creativity, there are certain behavioral and ideological tendencies that stifle the development of innovative ideas.
The flexibility of a distributed team, on the other hand, stays more fresh and agile. Such team members are likely to come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Their decision-making process is somehow different but when they work together, they may address problems that are considered unsolvable.
As a result, the combination of people with different cultures, backgrounds and ways of thinking helps create unique exciting ideas.
2. It’s a city of thoughts that never sleep.
When talking about geographically distributed teams, time difference is generally on top of the worries. Indeed, they can cause problems such as delayed responses or missed deadlines. On the bright side, however, time zones can offer an unexpected benefit.
Imagine that while one part of the team, let’s say, in Sweden, calls it a day and rests in their pajamas, their other members in Vietnam, for example, pick up where the colleagues left off and keep the thoughts running. It’s like a never-ending circle of invention in motion.
This paradigm proved to be amazing when the open source software community was founded. Developers from all around the globe came together voluntarily to create incredible things like the Linux operating system and the Mozilla web browser. We welcome you, time differences! It’s a tried-and-true method for transforming remote teams into magical idea generators!
As a result, stop worrying about time zones and enjoy utilizing the collective mind that is non-stop working.
3. Distance working offers a peaceful, conflict-free environment.
Irreconcilable disagreements may arise in a team that has spent a lot of time together. A distributed team, on the other hand, may maintain a harmonious cohabitation with ease and tranquility, as they can work collaboratively without having to sit close together in a stuffy room and avoid the issues that come with near contact.
You may quickly silence Skype if the dispute reaches a breaking point, cool your nasty tongue, and then resume civilized talks once you’ve cooled down. What is the significance of this? Isn’t it true that excellent ideas emerge from conflict? According to a new study, moderate degrees of disagreement provide the best benefits in terms of creativity and invention.
Another study, conducted among development and engineering teams, found that constructive disagreement may rapidly devolve into destructive conflict when teams are engaged on long-term, difficult projects. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a group of academics to figure out that violent disputes are bad for creativity and innovation. Calm environments excite our brains more effectively than screaming. So, let’s give the remote teams another point.
As a result, working at a distance among members helps moderate internal conflicts that destroy the environment for creativity and invention.
Tips for managing distributed teams effectively
Is it that easy to build and manage a distributed team?
Certainly not. But we’ve drawn 8 suggestions for managing distributed teams that make remote members feel as connected as teams that work in the same office.
- Find the right people: Not everyone is suitable for a distributed team. Find people that are inclined and experienced or choose a reliable tech partner to help you.
- Focus on communication: Remember that communication is the oxygen of a distributed team. Build a structured working process and tools to use.
- Respect time zones and boundaries: Better check it out before scheduling a call or meeting. Expect waiting until the time comes.
- Build relations of mutual trust: Share your thoughts, ideas and concerns with your team to show that you trust them.
- Prepare precise guidelines: Put extra attention on onboarding, make sure that your team knows what to do, make expectations clear and realistic.
- Provide detailed feedback: Don’t just pop-up as “rewrite the code” or “the code isn’t working” notification, talk to the squad.
- Meet them in person: Don’t rely on email, Skype, Slack, etc. They can’t replace the bliss of a face-to-face chat.
- Create a true team feeling: Your remote employees should never feel like an appendix of your in-house team. Treat them well as your real members!
How to get started?
Building a distributed team is not simple and has its own challenges but there are always ways to solve and the benefits are clear. When it comes to creativity, remote teams may be a powerful tool for uncovering new possibilities. What you need first is to find the right partner who has strong experience building distributed teams. And why don’t you start with us today?