5 Top Tips for Managing A Remote Software Development Teams


The growing need for software developers and expert tech skills continues to expand as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and cloud computing continue to dominate the IT industry. Many companies are seeking ways to leverage experts from across the globe to build quality software solutions. Forbes reports that by 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely, and 98% of workers desire to work remotely most of the time. 

Some organizations have become remote-first since the pandemic, and many are incorporating this work-from-home (WFH) approach into their business model to enable flexibility, productivity, and efficiency. About 77% of remote workers report more productivity when they work from home, and managers agree that having remote workers will become the new norm.

Evidently, remote work is here to stay, and companies can benefit from having their software developers and development teams work remotely in different ways. First, the world is becoming digitally advanced and highly technological, meaning work can be done from anywhere, which is why there is a high demand for software developers. 

Second, companies are constantly striving to stay ahead and keep up with market demands. To achieve this, they need to leverage the skill set of tech experts without enduring lengthy recruitment processes. Therefore, they often opt for  custom software outsourcing or staff augmentation, where they can hire software developers seamlessly.

In addition, software solutions need continuous maintenance and regular updates to features to maintain customer satisfaction and relevance. Achieving this requires a dedicated software development team. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the importance of hiring remote software development teams is more pertinent than ever. Not only is it more cost-effective—saving on workspace expenses—it also improves efficiency, enhances productivity, and widens the opportunity to access a vast array of tech talent across nearshore locations. 

In this article, we'll share the top 5 tips to effectively manage a remote software development team, focusing on increasing productivity and efficiency. 

Set Clear Goals & Objectives

goal setting hand

The first step in managing a remote team is to set clear objectives and goals for the project. Ensuring that everyone understands the intricacies of the project is vital, as this lays the foundation for effective communication and problem-solving in the occurrence of any roadblocks. Clear goals and objectives not only provide your team with a sense of direction and purpose but also maintain focus and motivation. By setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common objective. 

In the process of setting the goals and objectives, the whole software development team should be involved so everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the overall project. This will encourage active participation, accountability and team alignment. 

A great way to set clear objectives and goals is to use project management tools and platforms that can help make remote team management easy. For instance, at Devsu, we use Jira as our project management tool that helps us define each sprint goal properly, with each individual owning their tasks and managers tracking progress daily. This project management tool allows everyone to stay updated, identify bottlenecks early and take corrective actions when needed.

Additionally, when setting clear goals and objectives, it is important to break down goals into small, achievable tasks and milestones to provide a sense of accomplishment for team members and boost the morale of the software development team.

By establishing clear goals and objectives, you can provide your remote software development team with a strong foundation for success. These goals ensure that everyone is working towards a common purpose, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment. Effective communication channels and project management tools further enhance the team's ability to track progress and achieve their goals.

Effective Communication

effective communication

When managing a remote software development team, never assume; always ensure everyone understands what is communicated. It's very easy for ideas to be miscommunicated in a remote setting. In this case, it's better to over-communicate than under-communicate. When in doubt, ask the team if they understand what is expected of them. With the absence of face-to-face interaction, it becomes imperative to make sure you set the right strategies and policies in place to set your team up for success. For example, at Devsu, every team has daily stand-up meetings or team meetings where each individual shares what they achieved the previous day, what they are working on, and if there are any issues or roadblocks. This is crucial because it gives everyone in the team an idea of ongoing projects and how they can make their contribution. 

Consequently, it speeds up projects and enables accountability, a collaborative and safe environment where everyone can express themselves freely, and team members can share ideas and feedback easily.

Importantly, using the right tools can enhance effective communication in a remote team. By investing in reliable project management and communication tools like Slack, there is more room for efficient communication, document sharing, and assigning tasks, keeping everyone on the same page.

As mentioned earlier, the policies set will also guide how the team communicates. Many remote-first organizations set strict policies like responding to emails and messages promptly and communicating with team members when there is a lack of clarity. This approach makes certain that everyone is responsive and accountable, even if they are in a different time zone. 

While working remotely can be effective, sometimes team members may feel lonely and want to build more connections with other members of the team. This is why it's important to consider organizing team-building activities and virtual social events to foster stronger connections among team members. Virtual activities such as online games, virtual happy hours, fun culture games (if members are from different cultural backgrounds), or even simple icebreaker sessions can help build rapport and a stronger bond within the team.

Effective communication plays a significant role in managing a remote software development team to improve collaboration and high productivity among team members. Therefore, by establishing clear communication channels, transparent communication, utilizing the right tools, emphasizing timely responsiveness, and organizing team-building activities, your remote team will surpass expectations and reach for success.

Adopt The Agile Project Management Technique

agile paper and post its

Leveraging the agile methodology has proven advantageous to many companies. The agile methodology is centered around the core idea of flexibility and continuous improvement, rather than following a strict procedure or plan. With every iterative development, there is a review, and feedback is immediately given. 

The agile methodology helps software development teams release features quickly and keep up with market demands. At Devsu, we take pride in employing the agile methodology in the way we work. We approach work with various agile phases: Sprint planning, Sprint, Demo, Retrospective, and we repeat the cycle. This helps with flexibility, easy feedback, continuous development, and collaboration among teams. This iterative and responsive approach allows for ongoing adaptation to changes in the project's needs, enhancing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the development process. Click here to learn more about agile methodology.

Conduct Performance Reviews

stars rating

As your software development team works remotely, it is important to make time for performance reviews to assess how each individual and the team have been performing. This will allow for constructive feedback and identification of areas for improvement. Performance reviews could be bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the company structure and manager. This will help software developers improve their performance, as they can highlight their issues and share ways the team can improve.

Beyond one-on-one feedback, there should be 360-degree feedback where managers will also receive comments on how they are leading the team, and peer-to-peer feedback where both peers and stakeholders can understand their strengths and weaknesses and improve in those areas. This will enhance collaboration and communication among teams, and each individual can create a development plan on how to improve based on the feedback they have received.

To manage performance reviews effectively, there need to be certain indicators:

  • Metrics & key performance indicator (KPI): A well-defined metric for each role and key performance indicator (KPI) that can help align the team's goals and objectives. For developers, this could include clean code practices, code quality, timely deliverables, and adherence to best practices. When the KPI is clear, both the team members and stakeholders are held accountable for what is to be delivered, and progress can be tracked easily.
  • Strategic plan for addressing underperformance: There should be resources, tools, and mentorship programs to help team members who are not meeting expectations, so they can improve. Remember, the goal as a manager is to ensure that each team member grows in their role, understands what is expected of them, and succeeds. Providing adequate resources for the team will help them achieve their goals and develop in areas considered their weaknesses.
  • Time zone considerations: Although your software development team is remote, they can be time-zone aligned with set timelines for deliverables and project expectations. Every member of the team should be more focused on achieving the task than working around the clock without balance. Accountability is crucial here. With team members scattered across different time zones and working independently, it's essential to establish a structure that ensures everyone is accountable for their actions and responsibilities. As a leader, demonstrate accountability in your own actions, and encourage other team members to do the same. A leader who embodies accountability inspires their team to follow suit. Encourage a culture of ownership and responsibility, fostering an environment where everyone understands the impact of their work on the overall project's success.

Data Security & Compliance

data security compliance image

It's no news that data security and compliance in a remote work environment are very important. With remote software development teams working in different locations, there should be security measures in place to protect sensitive information and maintain industry standards. Internal security breaches can happen mistakenly by an employee. To avoid issues like this, it is preferable to have a security policy document that outlines the details on how security measures can be met adequately and what happens when there is a failure to comply with these measures.

Employees should also be trained regularly on the best security practices and how they can protect sensitive information. These training sessions should be compulsory to keep each team member informed about cyber threats and how to handle company information. 

In addition to this, employees should be equipped with the right tools and technology when they work remotely. They need to constantly update their passwords, use the company VPN, and update the antivirus software on their computer devices. 

Being careful with sensitive data means staying mindful of public Wi-Fi and locations like cafes, where security might be compromised. These measures should be integrated into employee onboarding sessions. Regular updates of security software are essential to ensure that software applications are updated and can fight cyberattacks and vulnerabilities on the web.

Encourage employees to use multifactor authentication to ensure that their devices are safe from scammers and hackers trying to steal sensitive information. In addition, there should be a Zero Trust policy where every employee must verify every link, email, or data they receive before trusting it and accessing it. This approach is adopted by Microsoft, where team members "never trust, always verify," because it is important to ensure that data is protected. 

At Devsu, we understand the importance of data security and compliance, which is why we have put adequate measures in place to ensure that our clients' data is protected and not at risk of a cyber-attack.


Managing a remote software development team may seem more challenging than overseeing an in-house team, but using the tips outlined above will help you navigate the complexities of remote collaboration and ensure that your team produces successful outcomes. Whether your remote team members are in the same time zone or work nearshore, identifying clear-cut objectives and goals, fostering effective communication and collaboration through the use of tools and technology, adopting the agile methodology, conducting performance reviews, and ensuring data security will position your team for success, enhancing productivity, and driving innovation.

If you're interested in hiring a remote software development team that can deliver quality software solutions, contact us. Be a part of the intelligent companies that partner with us, and let's help you solve complex business problems. 


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