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How to build a culture on a remote team

Building a company culture, especially in the IT industry, is challenging especially when your team is spread across different locations. As a remote team, there are ways to build a culture despite the lack of physical presence. Working around how to make a team “work” online is now a reality that everyone must embrace. Thus, here are a few tips you can learn:

Understand cultural differences

To start understanding a culture, one must look into language differences. Language is one of the most important factor why people communicate with each other. Since, people don’t have the same language spoken, we must also learn ways on how to communicate with them through, talking slowly and clearly and not raising your voice. Having different languages could be difficult but if you know how to be creative dealing with it then it won’t be hard for you to understand others.

diverse-team

For example, if you are working with a team of developers and designers from the Philippines, make sure they understand what you are talking about. Filipinos are skilled workers and good English speakers however, it doesn’t mean they would immediately understand everything you say. Avoid using slang words, jargons or common idioms. For non-native English speakers, it might be misinterpreted.

Be transparent with your team

Being transparent in a remote team could be a tough one. Using modern tools to communicate and collaborate with your team could be a great help in building transparency with them. By using different and effective tools, this will help your remote team to be effective and efficient in connecting with them especially in sharing very important information. Other way of having transparency with your team is through sharing of successes and challenges, a major factor in increasing their motivation to strive harder in their work roles and for the success of the whole team.

Communicate to your team’s purpose and passion

One way of building a strong culture in a remote team is knowing what are the goals and dreams of each employee or team members. This will also help the team know who have the sense of passion and purpose in doing their different roles. By knowing their goals and dreams, it would be easier for you to share ideas that could help the team’s future success.

pupose

In working and managing with different teams, you will understand the variety of cultural elements of your team that will help you discover how much your global team members have in common. By finding ways to focus on common goals and values of the team, there is a greater chances for the success in managing cultural differences. Here are some software tools you can use to manage your remote team – https://startupremotely.com/2017/07/05/software-tools-to-manage-your-remote-dev-team/

Be true to your core values

One great factor is building culture in a remote team is having core values and being true to them. True core values are considered as a guiding light of the team. They are considered as the heart of the organization since they are the most important thing that a team must have in order to have a sense of passion and purpose with your co team members. These core values will also guide you in achieving milestones and will help you in facing challenges together with your whole team.

Embrace the power of feedback

Best employee is considered as one of the asset of a company or organization must have. Giving your employees different benefits is not just the reason why they are still engaging with the team but it’s all about communication. Feedback loop are more than just company benefits, they are important for retaining and developing top talent in the organization and a mutual form of communication, in which both parties must be fully engaged. Communication really matters especially in a remote team, this will create an energizing and healthy environment that is considered as the foundation of employee engagement.

feedback

Put a team effort to build company culture that works for all remote team members

Building company culture is not easy, it will need a lot of time and effort. Failing to devote time and energy into building a company culture you can be proud of will leave you a company culture you accept, or worse, dislike. Building a team’s culture is a constant work in progress. Allocate time to fostering you company culture, in order for your team to be able to recognize and follow it, take time to explain it in every way you can.

One of the most satisfying task you can take on is to build an outstanding company culture. By creating a great company culture, you will attract the best workers, increases overall retention, improves employee’s performance and lower costs. Building a great company culture is a continuous process. It will need a lot of time and effort to make it happen. The top management and their subordinate should also have enough time to communicate and collaborate with each other for the continuous success of the company’s culture they already build.

 


 

Culture is a big part at Bootyard. Before working with entrepreneurs, we take time to get to know them, what they are passionate about and what their goal is for building their startup.

We are Ruby on Rails web development company who developed software applications for startups since 2011. If you need developers or designers to build your MVP, send us an email at info@bootyard.com

How to build an agile culture for your remote developer team from the Philippines

Building an agile culture for your remote development team from the Philippines has some challenges because of the lack of physical presence. However, there are some ways for you to build the developer culture virtually. A few things are discussed below.

Conduct Code Reviews to your developers

Code Review or also called as Peer Code Review will play an important role in building an agile culture to your team.  Code review is a process of checking with fellow programmers and developers each other’s code for mistakes, wrong implementation or ensure to follow some best practices in order to accelerate development.

It is intended to find mistakes overlooked in the initial development phase, improving the overall quality of software. Code Reviews are done in different forms such as pair programming, informal walk throughs, and formal inspections. Since people from the Philippines and other parts of the globe have different timezones, distributing knowledge of the code between offices makes support and maintenance much easier. If the production issue will come out when the team is not online, other office can easily step in to support and resolve the issue. That is was you gain when dealing with a remote team. You’ll gain the expertise to handle cross-team or cross-location code reviews.

Build good relationship with your team

It is important in any program, especially agile program, to have a strong relationship and understanding across the team. Personal connections builds trust, alleviate self-organization, reduces missed expectations, and uplift morale. In your office, take time to get know everyone in the team and if possible, do the same with the team  you work with in the remote offices. Personal connections are essential in building good relationship with the team.

Build a united developer culture

There are four simple ways teams can make working across geographies easier and share a common developer culture:

1.) Overcommunicate decisions across all geographies

Ineffective communication is one of the work problem that may occur in a workplace. Over-communicating with the other team members may bring burden with them especially in a remote team. One way that will become a team united is through communication, by sharing ideas or problems in achieving milestones could be a best example. Making your communication tool better, a clear planning method, and having regular meeting with your team are ways to over communicate with them but will never annoy them.

2.) Minimize the friction in setting up the development environment

Wikipedia defines readme as: a file contains information and documentation about other files and directory of computer software.

And given the lists of the following contents:

  • Configuration instructions
  • Installation instructions
  • Operating instructions
  • A file manifest (list of files included)
  • Copyright and licensing information
  • Contact information for the distributor or programmer
  • Known bugs
  • Troubleshooting
  • Credits and acknowledgments
  • A changelog (usually for programmers)
  • A news section (usually for users)

 

3.) Clearly define the acceptance criteria

Acceptance criteria is important in building the right product/project. This will be the basis of the success or failure of a project or product. Acceptance criteria are the conditions that a software product must satisfy to be accepted by a user, customer, or in the case of system level functionality, the consuming system, these are also set of statements, each with a clear pass or fail result, that specify both functional and nonfunctional requirements.

4.) Define guidelines for filing bug reports

In order to have a good output of project or product, you need to know and test if it is really working well especially when it is already used by a customer or user. In testing project, there are bugs that may found and you need to have a time to resolve these issues as outlined by musescore , these are the things that you need to know in writing bug

  1. Isolate bug– the first step in writing bug report, wherein you need to know what the problem is.
  2. Check if you are using the latest version– update the version that you are using and check if the bug will still exist or not.
  3. Check if the bug is known- check if the bug is already documented in order to know if this issue has already existed.
  4. File each issue separately– in dealing with multiple issues, better separate them in order to solve and track them easily.
  5. Create a new issue– in this step you will need to answer several questions that are used in filling for the bug report
  6. Title– Title should be clearly and properly describe the problem.
  7. Description-know the right instruction or steps so that others can duplicate it.
  8. File Attachments– if you have other files that can help in resolving the issue then attached it.
  9. Submit– “Save” bug report and submit to the issue tracker
  10. Following up– even if the bug is already fixed by the developer, it is important to assure that it is completely fixed.

 

It is hard to build this culture even with your team in a co-located office, how much more to a distributed team, communication really becomes significantly harder. The challenge to train the team to understand that and to follow the best practices the team must adapt. It may sounds so easy but we overlook these trivial situations and we forget. Take time to build that agile culture within your team and tweak as much as you can until it fits to your team culture.

 


 

We understand Agile. We understand how Agile can help make or break your startup. At Bootyard, we’ve developing Ruby on Rails applications since 2011 using Kanban. If you are currently building your MVP for your startup, we’d love to have dialogue with you on how Agile can help you move forward efficiently. Shoot us an email at info@bootyard.com.