Outstaffing is one of the most popular ways to hire remote staff. Nevertheless, some customers still have concerns regarding remote work with their team of employees. Yes, software engineers are specific employees, and in many ways problems of development are caused by different views between them and those who are not related to the technical part.
In fact, removing barriers in communications is not so difficult. A project manager, provided by many outstaffing companies, including us, will help with this issue. If you do not know how to work with developers or not sure that you can effectively manage a team remotely, have a PM to deal with it. He will establish a productive workflow and find a common language with programmers.
Our tips will help you navigate the software development environment and learn how to understand engineers, and promote communication with them to a completely new level.
Many customers seek to isolate the development team from the business by mistake. In fact, you should not hide the concept of your company from them, as well as development strategy and purpose of the product. Consult with developers early in the process when it is not yet defined. This way, you will keep feel more interested in their work results. In addition, you exclude the likelihood of wasting time on unrealistic goals and an incorrect project development course.
As we mentioned above, PM is a person who simplifies communication with developers. He accurately owns information about the availability of the team, the capabilities and workload of each specialist.
In the case when the developer faces a specific task, described in details in the technical task, he does his job much better than when obtaining solutions for implementation.
As Noah Mercer, former director of software development for The New York Times, said: “The main thing to do first is to talk to an engineer, study all the details, determine them as detailed as possible, and write it down.” You need a concrete understanding of what the requested function should do and what not. Vague concepts, abstract tasks, poorly defined product properties – all this negatively affects the work of a programmer.
To create a website or web application, you need at least two people. If you understand the user’s problem that the product solves, then the engineer knows how to create the product itself and is interested in its success. As you can see, you need each other.
Each new option added to the statement of works entails the consumption of resources. Before requesting its implementation, explain the priority of the task. Setting goals will also help to identify what is most important and should be done first. The better you prioritize and set your goals, the more efficient your engineers are.
Remember, nothing hurts developers as much as a project manager who can’t make decisions before starting development. Changing the work plan in the later steps means that the time and energy of the engineers were wasted.
Get rid of the idea of making a great product at the first time. Yes, a website or application can and should be made high-quality. But, web development involves a constant iteration, so the first version of the software will not be the last.
Of course, understanding the intricacies of the system architecture of a website, application, or object model is not necessary. But you need to have an idea of what is happening with the project. Understanding the abbreviations and technical vocabulary used by engineers will help in it.
It is difficult for non-technical people to assess the task, whether it is easy or difficult, how many hours it takes to complete it and whether it will affect other projects. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask developers questions and ask them to evaluate their time.
If you managed to find a specialist who can patiently and clearly explain technical concepts in simple language, invite him to your team, ask questions, show interest and keep in touch with him as much as possible. Such developers are important for the project.
Of course, do not forget about the basic aspects, such as polite communication, tolerance, respect for national traditions, because outstaffing is often a hiring of specialists from Eastern Europe, with their own traditions, although with a very similar mentality with Western Europe and US.