GeeCon - managing remote projects

Posted:   |   More posts about telecommuting management Scrum geecon
In his talk on visibility in distributed teams Pawel Wrzeszcz motivated why working remotely might be benefitial for both, employees (less commute time, more family time) as well as employers (hiring world wide instead of local, getting more talent in). He then went into more detail on some best practices that worked for his company as well as for himself.

When it comes to managing your energy the trick mainly is to find the right balance between isolating work from private live (by having a separate area in your home, having a daily routine with fixed start and end times) and integrating work into your daily live and loving what you do: The more boring your job is, the less likely you are going to succeed when working remotely.

There are three aspects to work remotely successfully: a) having distributed meetings – essentially: minimize them. Have more 1 on 1 meetings to clear up any questions. Have technology support you where necessary (Skype is nice for calls with up to ten people, they also tried google hangouts, teamspeak and others. Take what works for you and your colleagues). b) For group decisions use online brainstorming tools. A wiki will do, so do google docs. There's fancier stuff should you need it. Asynchronous brainstorming can work. c) Learn to value asynchronous communication channels – avoid mail, wikis, issue trackers etc. are much better suited for longer documentation like communication.

Essentially what will happen is that issues within your organisation are revealed much more easily than working on-site.