5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Remote Teams
February 20, 2018
At some point in time, every agency will come across a project where their resources are overextended or the platform doesn’t quite match internal capabilities. When that happens, you’ll find yourself searching for a remote partner or team. As a digital producer/PM, or really anyone that has a hand in resourcing, this tends to create some anxiety.
For any growing organization, resource management is a known area of frustration and a central topic of meetings… many, many meetings. To help you cope with growing and managing an external team, we have compiled a list of our best tricks, tools, and suggestions.
Working with, and Growing your Remote Partnerships:
Tip 1 – Extend Your Culture
Make sure you show your remote team members how your agency works and what your culture is like. You’ll want to extend your way of working to them. They’ll appreciate being integrated into the team, it’s human nature to want to fit in – just give them a chance. And never underestimate the value of a good on-boarding package with branded goodies!
Tip 2 – Master the Tools
Slack? Hangouts? Jira? Basecamp? Whatever the tools, your remote team should adapt and become comfortable with how you communicate. To ensure your remote teams work as an extensions of your in house team, tools should be defined early. Also, if they use something that you don’t use, and it makes sense for the project – this is your chance to take a test drive. Regardless, arm your partner with the tools that you know equate to success.
Tip 3 – Trust is Earned
We’ve worked with a number of agencies who have had bad experiences with previous outside development teams. Those feelings don’t go away without establishing trust. Our suggestion is always the same in those scenarios: start small, and see how it goes. We recommend engaging in small initiatives, so your team can assess your partners and mitigate risk early if things aren’t working out. If things are going well… then you’re golden and you’ll have a new partner for life… or as long as they continue adding value!
Tip 4 – Believe in the Process
At GeekHive, I’d like to say we have a very tight, yet flexible process. We pride ourselves in our approach, however, we understand every client does things differently and we must be malleable in order to adapt seamlessly. Being too comfortable with any one approach and trying to force your process onto others, will lead to failure.
Tip 5 – Facetime
Make it a point to meet in person! This may be difficult, but extending the touch points to include in personal interaction has proven to be invaluable. If face to face interaction is not possible, have a beer together over a video conference.
There are a lot of benefits to engaging or building a remote team. It can mean everything from saving money to enjoying certain strategic advantages – but you may want to avoid technical offshoring to reap these benefits. Whatever your reasons are, it’s crucial to make your remote teams feel the same sense of community and ownership that the people in your agency do.
We hope these tips help you improve your working relationship with your remote teams. If you are interested in learning more about how GeekHive has served our agency clients as a remote partner for over 20 years, feel free to check out our work.
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