In this article, we’ll share 7 pro tips on managing remote software engineering teams in Africa because recruiting a proficient remote engineering team is one thing; managing it is another.
It’s never easy to synchronize people situated halfway across the globe.
Get it right, and reap a ton of benefits. These include competitive rates and increased productivity. Remote work culture also leads to a diversified workspace and offers excellent flexibility.
Recently, we have seen a surge in demand for remote software engineers from Africa. Many tech companies have abandoned traditional hiring grounds in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
These companies are now looking to Africa for cheap, albeit quality, service providers.
This unprecedented shift has brought plenty of opportunities for skilled African engineers.
As a manager, you must have the proper communication and organizational skills. That’s the only way to transform your organization’s visions into reality.
Here 7 pro tips on managing remote software engineering teams in Africa:
- Goal-Centric Approach
Managing a software team located thousands of miles away is a feat that takes work. It requires a tactful approach to pull it through.
First off, you need a defined strategy to guide the team. Curve a precise roadmap outlining the duties and roles of each team member.
Create a robust management strategy. Make sure everyone has a solid understanding of how your organization works. Set a target and give strict timelines for the objectives of your project.
Track each team player’s progress to determine if everything is proceeding as planned.
2. Meticulous Onboarding
Onboarding introduces the new players to the tools and documentation required for the project.
The onboarding process familiarizes the new employees with your organization’s inner workings.
Zoom is a splendid example of an intuitive and accessible onboarding tool. You can use this technology to introduce the various departments to each other.
The onboarding template contains the tasks allocated to the remote staff. It contains the central repository for the organization. Here, you’ll also find the tools required for the job.
3. Effective Communication
Proper communication is integral when dealing with remote workers.
In a traditional office setting, it’s easy to pass out important information to the staff but working with remote developers, poses some severe communication challenges.
The difference in time zones means you can’t reach the remote developer in Africa at certain times. It may take the developer a day to respond to that urgent email you sent out.
It is up to you to devise clever workarounds to overcome any emerging communication hurdles.
To do so, you can save the personal phone numbers of your remote workers and call for emergencies.
If you want to hold a virtual office meeting, pass out this information beforehand.
Send an invite to the Zoom or Google Hangout meet-up well in advance to ensures that everyone has ample time to prepare and attend.
Miscommunication is often a common problem for remote workers.
A missed memo could spell disaster for the entire project. A missed email can cost the company an untold sum of money.
Hold regular company meetings to ensure everyone is up to speed with all developments.
At the same time, only do a few meetings because it can be a nuisance by some developers, especially those working in time zones that are not favorable.
Excessive meetings may decrease the productivity of the the developers away from executing their assigned tasks.
5. Tracking Performance & Rewards
Tracking the performance of your remote teams can get hectic. It can turn into an outright nightmare if you are not organized.
That’s why you always need to set clear-cut targets for each team member. Targets allow you to gauge the continued progress of your remote staff in real-time.
Monitoring the team’s performance lets you know whether you are on track. , many management tools exist to help track the staff’s output.
Invest in these tools to ensure you get the best value for your money. Project management tools like Scoro, Workzone, and Filestage come in handy here.
Rewarding your remote developers is always an excellent move.
These incentives foster a cordial relationship with your teams. Rewards can be monetary or gift cards. It helps to keep the workers motivated and appreciated.
6. Consider The Time Zones
You should know the exact time zones for all your team players by heart.
Know the best time to get a hold of them at all times. That way, you can plan and schedule meetings with the participants.
Bring the team members up to speed with the various time zones of their colleagues. That way, the team can collaborate if the need ever arises.
7. Set Up Ground Rules
You must set up ground rules for how the remote team will collaborate.
These rules not only guide your unit but also help avoid potential conflicts. It is your responsibility to paint out the project’s goal.
Pin down the duties of each contributing member somewhere.
Draft a document outlining your company’s values and principles for a smooth operation.
These guidelines help to synchronize everyone regardless of the physical distance between them.
Concise communication is of utmost importance when managing remote developer teams.
Nurture a culture of dishing out gifts and bonuses. This habit builds a personal connection and builds trust with the remote workers.
Set out clear goals for the remote team. Make sure everyone understands their responsibilities and duties towards making the project successful.
Additionally, invest in performance tracking tools to keep tabs on who’s working and who’s slacking on the job.
You should also avoid overwhelming your remote workers. It can lead to fatigue and low morale.