7 Tips For Managing a Remote Freelance Development Team

The advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of remote working throughout the technology world as well as other business sectors. Sure, some companies previously offered telecommuting as a perk to attract talented tech professionals, but the practice definitely became the proverbial new normal over the last two years. Needless to say, this shift caused a massive change requiring technology managers to take a more proactive approach.  

Somewhat surprisingly, many companies reported improved productivity among their remote teams. The lack of a daily commute definitely helps workers balance their personal and professional lives. It’s a scenario letting them focus more on their daily project work. However, managing remote workers requires a deft hand as far as keeping them connected, engaged, and contributing. This is especially the case when using teams with freelance technology talent. 

With a goal of successful project outcomes that are repeatable, check out these tips aimed at effectively managing your remote freelance software development teams. Leveraging this advice ultimately keeps your freelancers inspired and productive. In the end, it’s the right approach for managing telecommuting tech professionals no matter their location.  

Communication Becomes Even More Critical With Remote Workers 

Not having your entire project team working in the same office makes proactive communication even more crucial. Hold daily meetings to check progress on work, while also keeping everyone connected with each other. Also spend time communicating with each team member on a one-to-one basis. This strategy ultimately lets everyone feel a true part of a productive team. 

At the same time, when vetting remote freelance talent to join your next project, ensure they have a well-appointed home office with excellent Internet service. In fact, it’s almost as important as their technical skills and relevant experience. Fostering effective communication throughout the project depends on everyone having their own space to work as well as high-quality hardware for communicating with video and voice. 

Cybersecurity Protection Increases in Complexity 

Software projects with remote development teams require a proactive approach to cybersecurity. After all, each freelance worker’s home office becomes part of your company’s network perimeter. Ensure everyone understands how to protect their home networks against cybercriminals. Require strong passwords and multi-factor authentication as an extra layer of protection.

Also consider the protection of your development environments. Whether you are using either cloud-based or on-premises servers, ensure security updates get installed regularly. Your company’s SecOps team must understand the complex nature of cybersecurity when it comes to software development processes using remote workers.

Set Clear Expectations When It Comes to Scheduling

Any remote freelance development team might actually be located in separate time zones or even different continents. Not surprisingly, this situation adds an extra layer of complexity to your project management process. You need to set clear expectations for each team member as far as their daily schedule. Of course, provide some flexibility, but within a range of hours so the entire team is able to collaborate throughout most of the day.

If this becomes too difficult for team members located on the other side of the globe, only consider nearshore freelancers located close to your core team. Remember, regular collaboration and interaction remain critical for any software development project. 

Reasonable Deadlines Help Keep Team Morale High 

Throughout the project set achievable deadlines to help your team complete their assignments without overtime. This approach keeps team morale as high as possible while preventing burnout that ultimately ends up lowering productivity. In fact, a fine line exists between a strong effort and becoming overworked. Exceptional technology managers understand how to get the most out of their team without burning them out. 

Additionally, don’t assume your freelancers are only working on your project. Clear communication before onboarding a contract developer remains essential in determining how many hours to give them each week.

Leverage Collaboration Tools to Boost Productivity 

When managing remote freelancers on a software development project, your company needs to invest in the hardware and software tools that make it easier for everyone to collaborate effectively. This includes videoconferencing software and collaboration platforms that facilitate remote interaction. 

In fact, text messaging might end up being the most critical medium for project communication. This situation makes it critical to provide your team with the best collaborative tools to ensure things run smoothly throughout the project. 

A Work Tracking System is Essential 

Any software development project requires an effective tracking system, providing managers with metrics to analyze team performance. This need becomes especially critical when managing remote freelancers. In fact, this valuable data helps scheduling future sprints, when using the Agile methodology or one of its variants. It also offers the critical reporting data for project stakeholders and the executive team.

In short, your company needs to invest in the communication, collaboration, and project management tools to ensure a successful outcome. Many companies find that the overhead of managing a varied group of remote freelancers creates a significant burden and ends up taking time, energy, and money away from key activities. If spending this much time, effort, and money on top of paying freelancer rates seems daunting, perhaps partnering with an experienced software delivery organization makes more sense.

Partner With a Talented Software Development Provider 

Ultimately, the myriad difficulties encountered when managing remote freelance software development teams puts any project at the risk of failure. In this situation, consider a partnership with a third-party software solution delivery firm with technical chops, business acumen, and the modern project management know-how your organization needs. Obviously, find a company with significant experience delivering successful projects using remote freelancers. 

When searching for a top-shelf software delivery organization, look no further than the team at Gigster. Our state of the art process for choosing developers analyzes over 20 criteria to ensure we only hire the best talent for your company’s projects. We also understand how to scope and manage software projects with the velocity necessary to successfully compete in the modern business world.

Our well-honed systems help developers craft code faster and with fewer bugs. We provide the project metrics to anticipate bottlenecks, track budgetary issues, and ultimately deliver an exceptional software product. Expect timely and regular communication and reporting so you understand every aspect of your company’s project.

If our best of breed approach to software delivery makes sense for your organization, connect with us to discuss your specific project ideas. Together we’ll craft a software product to make a positive impact for your business. 

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