Working with a virtual team: 7 best practices

Last post 04:53 pm October 15, 2021
by Oliver Weiss
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03:18 pm April 21, 2016

What's up, guys! We've just written an article on Cheesecake Labs' blog with 7 best practices for working with virtual teams! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that!

https://www.ckl.io/blog/working-virtual-team-7-best-practices/

12:36 pm April 22, 2016

Thanks. I personally got to know a number of tools that may come in handy while dealing with virtual teams. Are these best practices meant to be for both agile and traditional development teams?

11:40 am October 15, 2021

There are millions of people trying to adapt to this new way of working long-term, companies and enterprises are looking for an approach to translate management to the remote space. Activity management software plays a vital role especially as enterprises look to building trust in virtual team.

04:53 pm October 15, 2021

Thanks for sharing, Bruno.

From my experience, it is paramount to foster good communication and to nurture a "we are one" team spirit.

I had the joy of working together with people in various countries and the objective to have all the individuals feeling - no: being - part of one team. We started with nearshoring people in Spain and Operations people in India (my company is in Switzerland) some months before COVID kicked in. It helped us a lot that we had the possibility to meet in person several times before we were "doomed" to go all virtual. It helped us a lot to feel as one team communicating actively towards the business that there are no two or three classes in the team according to where they are situated.

In order to support the communication we established the habit to have our online meetings with the webcams on. That way, we feel closer to each other. We also established (optional) virtual coffee breaks where we tend to talk about everything but work. It is not strictly prohibited to also talk about work, but the intention is to talk about more personal stuff during these breaks.

And, last but not least, releasing often helps to align, because an increment in use is only what it is. No "I think it is thought to be that way", just an "aha, that's the way it is" and "let's make the next step from this common ground which is the same for everybody". I have the feeling that the article you mentioned describes a more prescriptive approach where there is too much stress on upfront documentation and control (practice 1 and 5) instead of releasing (and sometimes failing) fast and often.

Thinking about the technical aspects is also a good idea - but from my experience I'd say that the soft factors are the harder ones ;)

There is one practice, no. 7, I am absolutely not d'accord with (if I got it right). Incentivation of "good" behaviour is never a good idea. Please read about extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.