When embarking on a remote java project, software developers (and other software/technology professionals) face a number of challenges. These challenges can infringe on individual and team productivity in quantifiable ways.
If you want to stay away from overrunning your software project budget, project delays, and other unpleasant outcomes that accompany remote project mis-management, follow the advice below, coming from the most trusted technology talent experts in the industry.
When milestones are set, the focus always seems to be on quantity: Number of team members, budget allocation, time spent etc. Any adjustments to project milestones are made by manipulating the numbers. Target deadline closer? Increase the number of resources (causing the budget value to shoot up accordingly). And so on. What most new software project managers fail to realize is that resource management is also a task. Delegation takes off manhours from your workday but adds more responsibility.
When planning a remote project, it’s always better to start small. A small, highly qualified team of experts; achievable milestones, and timelines which serve as checkpoints of your larger project horizon. Keep everything within reach.
The larger and distributed your remote project team will be, the harder it will be to monitor progress, insert controls where needed and so on.
Can you afford to be rigid when your team lives in a country without electricity? Success in outsourcing depends on your ability to work around obstacles, to keep your deliverables fluid. An agile approach is surprisingly kinder to project budgets because it minimizes fixed costs. The agile approach also emphasizes frequent exchanges between team members before locking in milestones—a move that appears to be iterative and time-consuming, but is in fact, efficient in the long-run.
We emphasize the dangers of both communicating frequently, and too infrequently. So how does one strike the perfect balance? One approach is to keep it proportional to the number of remote team members. Five team members or less? Meeting twice a week (one to set milestones and the second to check progress and propose changes) should suffice. Larger teams, with more complex and interdependent goals will need to meet more frequently. The key is to keep iterations to a minimum. And how do we do that? Be specific in the goal. The less experienced your resource, the smaller and more specific the goal needs to be.
Also Read: How to Work From Home Without Getting Stressed Out
Overcommunication across a global team is inevitable. Communication within sub-teams, between teams, across hierarchies. An excess of informal communication can come in conflict with decided, formal communication. The solution is to keep things transparent. Shared edit access, while helpful in bringing speed, isn’t great with transparency. Version control, poorly timed edits—the list of issues goes on.
Collaboration software, on the other hand, brings everyone on the same page, much like edit access. Except that it does account for version control. Whether you for basic collaboration tools like Trello, or Asana, or level up with Bitrix24, it helps achieve monitoring goals.
An added advantage is that collaboration software smoothens process flows. Output can be uploaded and accessed at convenience. Feedback comments can be shared. Such software is usually integrated with spreadsheet software, and even audio files can be uploaded. The benefit to software developers on your project? No more sorting through Whatsapp Voice Notes. Just check one unified sheet for all changes and updates needed!
Regulatory restrictions, limits on data storage, processing and transfer are realities of working in the global software space. Even access to development tools—which may be easy and cheap in one market could be illegal in another. Spell out the rules. There is no other way.
Client organizations also need to work around issues such as media control in some countries: In the past decade, internet lockdowns and bans on social channels and communication platforms have been real obstacles in the exchange of resources and output.
Also Read: Leading In The COVID-19 Age: Technology Experts Need To Build Empathy
Remote java project(s) will continue to become a greater part of the software development market. To ensure your experience working on remote software projects is a positive one, connect with experienced technology professionals and industry experts.
Nayyara Rahman is a management and technology professional with a focus on digital services. Her work in integrating marketing and technology is aimed at making organizations more efficient, accountable and transparent. She is also an award-winning author and researcher whose contribution has been acknowledged on several prestigious international forums.
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