A good crafter never blames their tools. But they won’t get far if they don’t have the right tools for the job in the first place.
Same with your development team. You can hire the best of the best, but if you aren’t making it easy to communicate, stay organized and track progress, you aren’t making good use of your time (or theirs).
Email is a start, but it’s often not enough to power that productivity. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Several, actually.
Before you kick off your project, here are the must-have tools you need in your arsenal:
For many remote teams, chat apps are the heart and soul of communication. They replace the discussions you might be used to having in-office among your team and keep them all in one place. That includes everything from progress reports to water-cooler banter.
If you’re not already using chat, it’s a big change to move to text-based communication, but it has some notable benefits:
We love using Slack, not only because it’s best-in-class (it has over 6 million daily users including companies like IBM, Shopify, Airbnb and even NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) but because it is easy to use, helps us collaborate effectively and is highly customizable.
How do you manage timelines, tasks and to-dos on your team? Enter the project management service, designed to track your deliverables and deadlines in one collaborative workspace.
You may already have something in place to manage your workflow, but if you don’t, make it a priority for your next project. It’s a game changer when working with a remote team since it helps you:
We use Asana and JIRA in-house, but you’ll find good alternatives in Trello, Basecamp, AirTable and more. Much like test driving a car, the one that’s right for you is up to your own preference, so try a few and see what clicks.
Video calling is standard for remote work because it’s a simple way to connect people in real-time, with visuals, no matter where they are. At the very least, you’ll want something that will let you share screens and hold one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one calls.
Being face-to-face (even digitally) has its benefits, too. It helps:
Like project management apps, there are lots of options available should you need to find a service. If you use Google’s G Suite, you’re probably already familiar with Hangouts. If you’ve got Microsoft apps, Skype is probably your go-to. Zoom is another popular option worth checking out.
Although you can share documents via email and chat, nothing beats dedicated collaboration software that lets you write, read, edit, comment and save from any device. Especially when you won’t be relying on your internal company drives.
Ideally, your sharing platform would allow you to manage all of your content in an easy way. You’ll also want to consider:
Google Docs and Google Drive are the most commonly cited tools that offer these services, but Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365 are making progress toward becoming full-service collaborative solutions.
A good development team can work with whatever you have on your end, but it never hurts to ask what tools they like using, too.
Just don’t go overboard. There’s such a thing as app overload, and after a certain point, it becomes more time-consuming to manage all the tools you’re using than it’s worth. Stick to the basics at first, and hone your tech stack from there.
Got your team and tools in place? Awesome. It’s time to get the best work out of them!