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How to make sure your extended team is successful

Working with a software development team located remotely might be challenging. So why so many businesses use extended teams in cheaper locations nowadays? And what tools do they use to make sure the remote collaboration works very well?

The answer lies in setting up the right processes, workflows and tools to ensure flawless communication and smooth collaboration.

At Railay, we have been working successfully with many companies from the UK, France, the USA, Australia etc, for many years now.

Here is what we do right – Four elements needed for successful remote team cooperation

Creating Inspiring and Motivating Environment for Everyone

We found out that only inspired, well-motivated people that feel valued part of the big team perform well remotely.

Through well-designed recruitment and onboarding processes, we make sure there is the right cultural fit between the company and the software developer. We also make sure the developers have an in-depth understanding of the big picture, buy into the company mission and purpose and product vision.

We approach every client like a long-term partner, learn about their culture, policies, processes, best practices and tools and replicate exactly the same environment in Ho Chi Minh City.

As part of the onboarding process, the developer learns about the company, its strategy, and its mission. They also speak to many of their future colleagues at least via video conference, their scope of work and part in the broader team are explained well, and they are given all tools necessary to be as autonomous as possible.

Ensuring Smooth Communication

Good communication is crucial when team members work from various locations.

Over the years, we learned how to create an environment that ensures flawless communication.

Team members communicate well when there are a few things in place: clear communication guidelines (when and how often), effective communication tools (how) and the team members know each other well (who with).

During the onboarding process, we make sure the developers in HCMC meet their remote team members at least via video conference and understand who to contact when questions arise.

Clients can communicate with developers directly, but we also put in place a project manager that ensures smooth client-developer communication on a daily basis. In addition, we have weekly calls with a client to address various issues and discuss any areas for improvement.

Minimizing the Time Zone Difference

Many of our clients are based in countries in different time zones; from the USA, UK to Australia.

Whilst a 1-3-hour time difference isn’t a problem, a 6-hour time difference between Ho Chi Minh City and Western Europe is harder to handle.

At Railay, we address that issue by implementing flexible working hours policy and adapting working hours to the client location.

For example, when we work with clients in France, the team starts work in the afternoon meaning there is an 6-8-hour overlap between the team in HCMC and Paris; plenty of time to discuss projects, tasks, questions and give feedback.

Work Management

Planning is the most important element at the beginning of a remote cooperation.

We replicate the client’s processes and best practices, make sure the remote team members have access to the same communication and work management tools.

We start by helping a client prepare monthly and weekly tasks plan for the developer.

The project manager then helps to ensure the work is managed properly, deadlines are met and everyone is happy.

Any issues can be discussed and addressed during the weekly calls.

Ensuring Very Low Staff Turnover

Even people that sit on the same floor take a lot of time to gel well and work harmoniously together. Things are much more challenging with extended teams, where we need to make sure that people that have never met communicate and work well together. That takes time.

This is why at Railay we put a huge emphasis on employee retention, personal development and continuous learning.

We make sure everyone feels challenged, learns a lot, can grow professionally and personally and continuously increases their market value.

Overall, distance and time difference are not obstacles to successful team cooperation. Over the years we have successfully helped many international clients scale up quickly in a cost-efficient manner, beat their competitors on time-to-market or provide 24/7 maintenance when needed.