With the increase and popularity of remote-work trend that is affecting more industries than ever, businesses increasingly find themselves managing projects with contributors in various geographic locations. People all over the world are trying to adapt to the remote working technology. Businesses are trying to get into this to keep up with the changing need of their employees and to adapt to talent from parts of the world. Managing remote teams has become an integral part of your business. Organizations, enterprises and companies today are embracing remote trends and keen on hiring the best talent from different parts of the world. Managing a remote team is a task that is more complex than managing a team that sits in the office and thus, you need the most efficient tools for your remote team collaboration and project management.
Importance of Productivity Tools for Every Remote Development Team
To fulfil the requirements and achieve your business goals, it’s absolutely essential to use project management tools especially when you are working with the remote development teams and your team is present in a different country or distributed around the globe. The best remote team management tools enable organizations to engage employees, help them in collaboration, and grow their business.
The best technology for working remotely will include:
- Project & Task Management
- Time Management & Calendar
- File Sharing & Collaboration
- Resource Management
Top Remote Work Tools
Some of the noteworthy and popular tools to manage remote product development teams effectively are:
Collaboration and Productivity Tools
For any product team to be successful, team members require convenient and reliable online apps to share and review up-to-date files and other content. This type of tool is considered even more critical when the team is working in different parts or locations.
- Dropbox: Dropbox is a great tool for maintaining a single-source-of-truth version of key files such as the product backlog, sprint backlog, or a burndown chart.
- Google Drive: Google Drive is similar to Dropbox. You can maintain all of your remote team’s key content in a single online location. Anyone on the team can access it, add comments, and check-in with these files to make sure they are still working toward the team’s strategic goals.
- Confluence: Confluence is a broader online collaboration app than the file-sharing tools listed above. This tool allows remote teams to monitor and update meticulous details of their projects online. File sharing ability is just one of Confluence’s many features.
Digital Communication Tools
Effective, easy, reliable and prompt communication is essential for any remote product management team. Coordinating a cross-functional team working on different aspects of the product, while keeping everyone informed and motivated, is a difficult job under any conditions. These product teams should use several types of digital communication—such as real-time team chat and video conferencing with screen sharing. Some examples are:
- Slack: When your team uses an online messaging app like Slack, you can have these quick conversations easily, whether with large groups or just one-on-one interaction. You are also able to integrate roadmap updates into your Slack channels.
- Zoom: Sometimes you require a more fruitful communication than an e-mail or Slack message. If you’re presenting your roadmap to a distributed team, then a video conference with a platform like Zoom can give you better opportunity to convey the strategy and provide a better sense of whether your team is able to grasp what you are trying to explain.
Project and Task Management
Once a product team has discussed and aligned around a definite strategy, the day-to-day task commences on turning that strategy into reality. Online project management tools can help these distributed teams keep track of their progress across the varied tasks and milestones that everyone is working on. A few examples are:
- Jira: Jira is an excellent tool for product owners and project managers to assign, track, and update all of the task-level responsibilities assigned to each member of the product team.
- GitHub: GitHub is an online task-management app that helps software development teams to keep track of issues and problems that need addressing. For a remote product management team, this can be a great way of filtering bugs and other issues for the developers.
- Azure DevOps: Azure DevOps is ideal for remote product teams. It helps development teams manage their code’s version control, plan and track software testing plans, and even deploy their software to various test environments before publishing it live.
Design and Wireframing Tools
To provide a better and clear understanding of what the product should look like, the product management team are required to use apps for visual product design, prototyping, and wireframing. Some good options include:
- InVision: The InVision app helps the organization create visual representations of their entire product-design workflow. Product teams are able to use InVision to build wireframes, element libraries, navigation flows, and even inspiration boards for their products.
- Sketch: Sketch is a very popular design platform that is used by businesses to create user flows, interactive prototypes, and to take product designs from the rough idea stage to what the app calls the ‘Developer Handoff’.
Need for Remote Team Management Tools
Remote work has been growing in popularity even before social distancing/the COVID-19 crisis forced many organizations to operate remotely. It’s become more popular lately, given the ongoing pandemic. With this rising trend, there is new pressure of managing productivity, teamwork, and employee morale. The need of the hour is to be quick and effective in our adaptation to this new reality. Remote work is a trend that will only continue to increase and software programs and remote team management tools have become increasingly necessary. After all, they help businesses to maximize productivity, increase collaboration, and facilitate delivery — all of which are critical for organizational success.
Asst. Manager-Marketing, RapidValue
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