Many decision-makers have a dilemma nowadays if they should choose to work with a remote software development team or hire only local developers. Financial benefits like lower costs are easy to calculate, but what about all the unknown unknowns? Based on my professional experience, I will write about the harder to grasp, soft aspects of cooperation in a distributed model.
Why another site?
Many people responsible for starting cooperation with a remote software development team are motivated by the desire to increase the speed of delivery, access to talents and expertise, or costs savings.
At Pragmatic Coders, we work with startups, product companies, corporates. These companies differ from each other, which gives us a view on the full range of expectations and concerns related to employing a dedicated team.
At the early stage of buying a dedicated team service, clients are mainly concerned about
- Ability to understand business goals and convert ideas into a working product
- Quality of deliverables
- Team composition
- Processes and methodologies
- Cost control and security
Those who become our clients, said in a quarterly satisfaction survey, that they:
- Appreciate our open-minded and competent people who are always available for a contact
- Like our pragmatic approach and taking their business situation into account
- Like that we do improve after feedback
- are happy with direct flights
So what is our secret sauce? In my view, the combination of company culture, methods to manage virtual distance and the right people are the foundation of a successful remote software development team.
Company culture eats strategy for a breakfast
Pragmatic Coders was founded as a response to experiences of working in IT, where founders observed a tremendous amount of ineffectiveness, poor product management, lack of efficiency and a lot of wasted potential. Founders decided to create a business with values and build outstanding software products in a pragmatic and lean way. I really liked this idea when I heard about Pragmatic Coders for the first time.
In practical terms, we have a set of corporate values that give people autonomy at work. This is crucial when fulfilling the promise of going live with the product in less than 3 months. If you want to learn more, check our product development guidebook.
Even in difficult times, our company DNA responds better to the crisis than documents produced in board meetings.
Awareness of differences in business cultures
We work with clients from various business cultures. It is good to understand the differences in order to objectively manage issues and achieve success. Geert Hofstede’s research comes to the rescue. Thanks to several dozen years of his work, we can understand the differences and similarities in the business culture of different countries.
I encourage you to take a moment to explore your selection of countries.
Knowledge should replace the arguments we versus them. The 6-D Model introduces
- Power distance
- Uncertainty avoidance
- Long term orientation
Dimensions with the biggest difference between the two business cultures should get your attention.
You probably should think about it during your next misunderstanding. From my own experience, I will say that this knowledge allows me to be more objective.
Managing Virtual Distance in remote software development teams
Digital transformation is a global business like no other, continuously transforming companies. Many of us work in teams cooperating from different locations. There are very good reasons to hire a remote dedicated team, but we should consider a psychological distance created between members of distributed teams – virtual distance. This concept was introduced by Karen Sobel Lojeski and Richard R. Reilly. Virtual distance has a huge impact on trust, innovation, job satisfaction, employee engagement and project success.
Virtual distance consists of:
- Physical distance (geographical, time zones) that we cope with teleconference tools and planning
- Organizational distance, that leads to communication issues, inefficiencies that we cope with product management methodologies
- The cultural and social distance between people, that we address with objectivism based on awareness of differences in business cultures, frequent feedback, results from satisfaction surveys and fun activities
Agile Manifesto is very useful to decrease the virtual distance. “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” emphasizes the importance of keeping the social distance low in a product team. One of our company values is “People – Be someone you would like to work with”. That plays a significant role in making everyone engaged in building great working relationships.
Hire a remote software development team
When working with Pragmatic Coders you should expect way more than just a group of coders who will deliver functionalities that you ask them to deliver. One of our main propositions is a dedicated development team consisting of 5 to 10 people. The team is multidisciplinary, customer-focused and led by the Product Owner. They are always going for better, faster, simpler, pragmatic solutions. Honesty, openness, transparency – you can expect all of that when working with our teams. We will also use all of our experience and knowledge to support you in creating your business around your product.
Our promise is that you will go live with your product in less than 3 months. Our experience has shown that 3 months is more than enough to validate any business hypothesis. You do not need to wait any longer to check if your product idea is something that has a chance to get the right traction. Regardless if you are an early-stage startup, or innovation department in a corporate, that way you can cut costs and learn faster. Your success is our success too.