Communication issues are not only common during pandemic. Especially when it comes to web/app development cases. It’s become quite popular to conduct these projects remotely even before it was essential because of the current situation. At FiveDotTwelve we’ve already worked with our clients remotely for a long time. It’s nothing new for us and it’s not a problem at all. You just have to follow some rules because an undeniable point is that proper communication is the key to success.So here you’ll find out how to communicate remotely with your team in an effective way.
Specify communication methods and tools
First thing to do is to specify details of the communication methods as well as the tools you’ll use to talk with your team. It’s very important to set it up at the start to avoid misunderstandings. Try to prevent a situation where you don’t know exactly what is the date and time for a call or meeting. The project manager is usually the one who will talk with you on this topic and will make sure everything is clear.
At the beginning of the project you can just give your opinions on the tools you like the best but also try to compromise. Remember that an agency has the experience in this area and they simply have working solutions already worked out. As soon as you and the team understand each other’s needs, you’ll be on the right track to find the best solution for your communication method.
Some of the communication and management tools to consider:
- Slack — it’s one of the most popular communication tools at software development companies. Slack has become even more appreciated during the pandemic when people began to work remotely. It enables the creation of a custom channel for the specific project so that the daily communication with the client and between team members is easy and accessible. You can also hold calls there.
- Google meet — a big advantage of the app is that in order to make a call or join a meeting you only need to be logged in to gmail. So anyone outside of the company can join. Downloading anything is not required. It’s a web app for video conferencing in high quality.
- Jira — it’s a tool that enables us to track team’s work. It enables the creation of tasks and tracking of team activities. This powerful work management tool for all kinds of use cases makes it possible to organize work in an efficient way.
- Trello — Trello is a visual collaboration tool that enables you to organize and prioritize projects. It’s a web-based, Kanban-style, list-making application.
Find some more great tools to communicate remotely with your team in an effective way here.
You can read how we manage it and why is good communication so important in our article Mobile app development with nothing but an idea.
Pay attention to your internet connection
It’s forward but it’s true — checking your connection is the first thing you should do. Internet issues are quite common even if it’s so obvious that it’s important to take care of this. Even though it’s said that internet connection speeds have rapidly increased over the past year, it still remains a problem. Most often, especially in pandemic times, meetings with the team are held remotely. You cannot allow the conversation to be interrupted by internet problems. They cause delayed meetings, generating costs etc. Moreover, it makes you look unprofessional.
First, check if you are able to carry out a disturbance-free call with several people at once. Are cameras required? No, but sometimes it's a good idea to switch them on, as the call may be easier to handle. Check if your connection is stable and if not — fix it. That way you can avoid unnecessary problems and misunderstandings.
Find a place where you can conduct meetings
Working from home — a very popular topic today. Working from home is not a bad thing. Considering the pandemic, it is even something good. Up to a certain point. Specifically, to the point where you realise that basically, if you can work from home, you can also work from your bed, from your car, from the beach. Well, that way you won't be able to communicate effectively with your team. If you are not simultaneously involved in childcare or other work and if your internet connection at home is fine, feel free. Just make sure you have a place at home where you can carry out the talk in peace. So that nothing disturbs you and so that it takes as much time as necessary.
However, working from an office, you may find it easier to avoid problems with the right place to talk. A quiet room or space where you won’t be interrupted is definitely required.
When you talk to the team building your product, your full commitment is needed. These calls cannot be held somewhere in between e.g. a case from one of your employees and a conversation with an investor where you have spare 3 minutes. If you have little time and lots of cases to take care of, it’s hard for you to stay uninterrupted, I get it. But when you do find 10 minutes for a call, turn off your phone and ask others to respect this time.
Stay in touch daily
At the beginning of the project conversations should even be held daily. If you devote 10-15 minutes every day, this will be enough to get an update. You should get involved in the life of the project, not just delegate it. If you don't do this, you will find later that there are things about the project that you don't like. Demand from the team to stay in touch too. If they fail to meet these expectations, give yourself a minute to think about it. If communication problems show at the start, it will probably be hard to fix it later.
Potential risks and problems that may arise later must be identified at the start of the project. It is also very important to raise concerns on an ongoing (daily) basis so that the team can react immediately. Try to avoid the situation where you say that there was a problem a month ago. Don't think that it will go away by itself.
To sum up, even if it’s hard for you to find time to stay in touch with the team on a daily basis, remember that it’s highly important to set the requirements and needs straight. Good communication is the key for your project to become successful and profitable.