It’s no secret we are big fans of remote work. We believe that working with an experienced team of remote software developers is actually the best way to go about sourcing coding solutions. Still, we know that virtual work has its fair share of challenges, just like with any in-person or online project. One of the biggest tough spots of remote work is effective communication, especially when it comes to virtual software development meetings. Considering that 76% of those who work remotely use video conferencing, it’s important that these meetings are conducted properly. That’s when virtual meetings best practices come into play!
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Thanks to our years of experience working with a remote software development team, we are familiar with the best practices for online meetings. Yet we recognize not everyone is used to working with a fully virtual team. Many US businesses pairing up with remote software development companies are new to this experience. As so, they are probably curious about how to conduct efficient online meetings with their remote team members.
That’s why we decided to dedicate a post to this subject. If you are a US business wondering how to handle virtual meetings with a remote software development team, we are here to share our knowledge with you. Keep reading to learn the virtual software development meetings best practices!
8 Virtual Meetings Best Practices For Software Development Teams
Only schedule online meetings when necessary.
“This could have been an email” is perhaps the internalized response to several virtual meetings conducted these days. It can be tempting to schedule a mandatory daily check-in for your entire team, but in most cases, there’s no actual need for it. With great communication platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, many small details can be discussed over text messaging. So make sure that when your remote software development team is called in for a meeting, there’s a reason behind it. If the issue could have indeed been resolved by email, then it’s probably best to skip the video conference altogether.
All virtual software development meetings should have a specific purpose.
Pointless meetings come with a cost. According to a recent study, poorly organized virtual meetings cost businesses up to a collective $399 million per year. Take this as your sign to assign each meeting a specific purpose. Be clear and concise about what topics will be discussed during the call and why they are important for your remote software engineers. Is it to brainstorm ideas for the upcoming projects? Perhaps to analyze user needs and requirements? Pick the main objective for the meeting and communicate it as soon as you send out the virtual invites!
Share the screen and turn on your cameras.
Online meetings have to be effective and streamlined, which is why cameras need to be on at all times. This boosts engagement and, according to recent surveys, it also avoids multitasking for 82% of people. Encourage your remote software developers to turn on their video for the meeting, while still allowing for the possibility of audio-only attendees if necessary. As for screen sharing, this is the most effective way to keep everyone on the same page. Talk with visuals to show the progress that’s been made and any practical examples of a coding solution.
Stay on track with the orders of the day.
Going on a tangent in the middle of an online meeting is easier than most people think. This is especially true for remote software development teams, as there are so many things to talk about within the software development life cycle. Still, it’s vital to stay on track and leave other topics for later! Create an order of the day for each meeting to have a clear idea of what needs to be discussed. Then stick to it to make your virtual software development meetings as productive as possible.
Create reminders on everyone’s calendars.
Out of all virtual meetings best practices, this might be the most obvious one. Still, we all know that a considerable amount of people forget that they had a virtual meeting. It happens even to the best of us! Whether you are working with your usual software development team or considering nearshore staff augmentation, you should send meeting reminders prior to the time of the call. With most platforms, you can take advantage of automated reminders to make sure nobody is late for the video conference.
Assign tasks beforehand so the entire remote team shows up prepared.
Research suggests online meetings and video conferences can increase productivity up to 50%. Though this will only happen if you and your remote software development team conduct organized and efficient meetings. One way to increase meting productivity is to assign everyone the material they need to prepare for the call in advance. This includes deliverables, presentations with statistics, or just signs of progress with a project. No matter what material you decide your remote software engineers need to prepare, assigning it beforehand will ensure the entire team shows up to the call well prepared.
Use the software development cycle to organize a meeting schedule.
The software development life cycle provides remote software development companies with a clear sequence of activities to follow right from the start and until the very completion of a project. Besides helping developers organize their work more efficiently, this cycle can also make virtual software development meetings more productive. This is thanks to the specific phases that are part of the SDLC: Requirement, Gathering, Designing, Coding, Testing, and Maintenance. The set stages help to categorize the project status and organize deliverables. That way you can make a tentative timeframe for the entire project and schedule meetings during the key moments of every phase. This can be just at the beginning and end of each stage or several times according to the complexity of the phase, it all depends on you and your team’s preferences.
Give future objectives before ending the call.
Just like assigning your remote software development team the material they need to prepare before a meeting, it’s great to provide them with objectives for the next one. At the very end of the call, you can give out tasks or goals for everyone and get clear on what kind of progress you expect to see on the upcoming call. This ensures the entire team is on the same page about the project status and future deliverables!
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At Next Idea Tech, we work with multiple remote software development teams and have years of experience handling online meetings. All of these virtual meetings best practices are a given within our team! We are a remote software development company that offers coding solutions to different US businesses. Our focus is on delivering the best real results for our clients based on their ideas. We also provide staff augmentation services. We even received a Clutch Award as one of the top custom software developers in the city of Massachusetts! Whether you are looking for a team of remote software developers or simply want to bring a project to life, we can provide the best programming solutions in the market. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about how we can help your business grow!