Three signs that you might be ready for a remote development team

Blog posts 15 February, 2017 Petter Nilsson Wihlbäck

Is your company ready for a remote development team?

While most companies (startups, new ventures and Fortune 500’s alike) begin with a core team of tightly-knit founding employees, there comes a time in many a growing organisation’s journey where they need to look for external help. In the tech and tech related industries, usually the first bottlenecks you run into is being able to attract and retain strong IT developers and engineers. Many companies have successfully solved this by engaging remote or dedicated development team. Whether or not a remote development team will be successful for your organization is typically a question of capability and timing.

When looking for IT talent to increase capacity, it is natural to first evaluate candidates one’s immediate vicinity. However, on the back of recent exponential growth in the tech industry, especially in the Scandinavian countries, the demand for skilled, dedicated developers has shot through the roof. The talent pool of experienced Northern European IT developers is unfortunately very thin and the combined cost of salaries, payroll and talent retention has skyrocketed

In the light of current talent squeeze, many tech related companies make a strategic decision to either partly or entirely move their development capacity over to a remote team in another part of the world where the IT engineering pool is both deeper and less costly.

That being said, a remote team is not for everyone, as the setup is different from working with 100% of your team in-house. However, for companies that are ready to adapt and embrace the format, a remote team can unlock development capacity, growth and profitability that is unattainable within their own walls and borders. This can be true already for organizations as small as just a handful of people as well.

Here are three signs that might tell you if your organisation is ready for remote team members:

I. You have a clear understanding of your day-to-day best practice

The people in your current organisation / team have already figured out in what ways to work together and have allocated responsibilities accordingly. Even better, the team has already had time to work together for a while and have a feeling for each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

This backdrop is a very good starting ground for a remote team as it is then easier for new talent to enter your set-up as a well-fitting complement to the structures and roles that are already in place. You will then also most likely have a clear idea of which representative(s) in your current team to involve to facilitate the integration of the dedicated development team members.

II. You are ready to communicate your business model, mission/ vision and operational set up

The clearer and more articulated your idea is of what it is that you and your organization is setup to achieve overall, the easier it is for the dedicated development team to get straight to work and start adding value and development firepower from day one. A more clearly defined vision for the tech product or platform that you are building also makes its much easier for you to define what personalities and skill-sets you would benefit the most from having on your remote tech team.

III. You are looking for a long-term solution and want a partner rather than a supplier

The goals and ambitions you have for your organization are more long term than just 6-12 months.To set up remote development capacity is usually better seen as a strategic decision rather than a short term tactical one. The dedicated development team is being built to solve your IT development needs for many years to come, not to merely get the next version of your app out the door.

A mindset where you avoid thinking of the remote development team as anonymous arms-length IT consultants and start to see them as integral members of your team with is key. This way you and your team will naturally put equal focus on building effective workflows and meaningful relationships with each other, which leads to success.

So, if you check these boxes, you might be ready to unlock even more of your organisation’s potential through a remote development team.

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