If you don’t already have the right in-house talent, you may be weighing up whether to hire permanent staff members or build a remote team of software developers. Maybe you didn’t even realise the latter was an option!
Let’s take a look at the benefits of building a remote software development team to support your projects and how you can go about building one.
Firstly, let’s clarify what a remote software development team is. Simply, it’s a team of software developers that are not based out of your offices. The team will be made up of freelancers or third-party businesses that are hired for a specific project or paid for ad-hoc work and aren’t employees. These individuals are just as qualified and experienced as any developer you may already employ but are adept at working flexibly in a way that can support your business’s evolving needs. When you work with a remote team, tasks are delegated on an ad-hoc or project basis. The goal is always to deliver the best quality results based on the goals you’ve assigned.
Five years ago, remote teams were often treated with scepticism. After all, if you aren’t in the same office, how can you know your employees are doing their work? Yet, in today’s flexible working world, this is no longer an alien concept. Remote teams have proven themselves to be trustworthy, hardworking and a worthwhile investment.
You might be wondering, what job roles make up a remote software development team? Here are some of the most common you may want to consider recruiting for:
- Product owner
- Project manager
- UX/ UI designer
- Business analyst
- Software developer
- Tech lead
- Scrum master
Depending on your business or the type of product you produce, you may not need to recruit for all of these roles. You may want to consider hiring multiple people to cover the same job functions if you’re hiring for a particularly complicated project.
Whether you have an existing in-house team or are building your support system from scratch, there are many benefits to hiring a remote software development team.
Building a remote team can go a long way to reducing operating costs for your business. Some of the ways costs can be reduced include:
- Rent and utility: hiring an in-house team can mean paying to rent a physical office, which includes additional costs covering utilities, insurance and other maintenance fees. If you don’t already have a dedicated workspace or office for your team to make their hub, hiring remotely is a great option.
- Only pay for time used: when you hire a permanent full-time employee, you’re on the line to pay their full salary regardless of how much work they actually do. When you outsource your software development to remote workers, you only pay for the time used. In turn, this encourages productivity.
- No additional fees: dependent on where in the world you are, hiring full-time employees can also mean paying for health insurance, days off due to sickness, benefits, and IT costs, such as laptops and repairs.
2021 saw a rise in the number of people leaving their jobs to begin working as freelancers, which means we are currently experiencing a freelancer economy. Many of the world’s top talent are no longer tied to one company and are now available for remote work. Most remote developers are just as good (if not better) than in-house developers. While traditional hiring methods mean you’re limited to picking workers located within a reasonable distance from the office, building a remote team opens you up to a greater pool of talent to hire from. Now, you hire freelancers from anywhere in the country or expand your horizons and explore talent from around the whole world.
Working with a remote team means greater flexibility than ever before. Hiring a permanent employee ensures you always have the resource on-hand but is much less flexible. It can also take a long time to get a permanent employee ready to work as the recruitment process can be lengthy; besides, letting an employee go can be a complicated, expensive and stressful process.
Remote teams offer greater flexibility in terms of:
- Availability: Whether you require one individual to work on a project for 5 hours on a Monday only or a team of 10 working full-time, remote teams can meet your every need.
- Scalability: If you need to bring an additional UX designer onto a project at the last minute, that can be easily arranged with remote teams. Likewise, the team’s size can be scaled down quickly if such extensive support is no longer necessary.
- Quick to set up: Whereas an in-house team can take months or even years to build, a remote team can be set up in a matter of weeks.
If you’re still not sure if building a remote software development team is right for you, here are some points to consider.
Building a remote software development team could be right for you if you:
- Value flexibility
- Want to save money on operating costs
- Aren’t sure what the scope of your project is
- Are new to building teams
- Want to keep management requirements simple
- Want access to a wide and diverse talent pool
- Need to be able to scale your team quickly
On the other hand, building a remote software development team might not be right for you if you:
- You want to have all your staff in one physical place
- Are willing to invest a lot more money into building and managing the team
- Want permanent, long-term employees and can guarantee long-term work
- Need everyone to work in the same timezone
So far, we’ve discussed what a remote software development team is and looked at some of the pros and cons of building one. If you’re sold on the idea, that’s great news!
The next step is to begin building your team. Let’s look at how to do just that.
Before you can jump straight into writing job descriptions, you need to determine what type of development team is going to work best for your project. This will help you understand what job functions you’ll need to recruit for, how many people you’ll need and how they’ll work together in the team’s structure and hierarchy.
The conclusion you come to will be dependent on the type of project you’re hiring for and its scope. For example, if you’re working on an end-to-end solution that doesn’t require any specialist knowledge, you may want to consider building a team of generalists, or jack of all trades. Alternatively, if your project needs the developers to understand a very specific software type or industry, you might be better off hiring a team of specialists. Ultimately, both types of teams have their merits and their disadvantages.
There’s no specific size your team must be — this is entirely dependent on your scope and ways of working. While a smaller team can be more agile and collaborative, issues may arise if specific knowledge is only held by one team member. For example, if you only have one person managing front-end development, and they leave, it can be difficult for another developer to pick up where they left off. On the other hand, larger teams will give you more protection over absence and error, but communication can become more challenging.
When deciding on the size of your team, there are a few factors to consider. For example, the more complex your project, the more developers you’ll need to complete the work. Likewise, if you have a tight deadline, you may need a larger team to help you get the work done in time. However, a larger team means higher costs, and if you don’t have the budget, you may need to be more flexible in terms of timings and deliverables.
We previously listed the types of roles that you may need to recruit for. While the list may seem long, every individual will bring experience and value to the team. That being said, software development teams are often incredibly versatile, and job functions can begin to blend and overlap.
When building your team, it’s important to be clear on what you require from each role so that you can recruit the best people with the right skills. Make sure to set clear expectations and goals for each team member to fulfil based on their role.
The type of team you build will also be dependent on whether you work within waterfall or agile methodology. Waterfall projects take a step-by-step approach, with the next stage only commencing when the current stage has been completed. Agile teams, however, work in sprints, focusing on specific deliverables or tasks within a set timeframe before moving on to the next batch.
When working with a remote team, Agile can help you work flexibly as it prioritises adaptability, support and efficiency.
Communication is vital for any team, but a particular emphasis should be placed on keeping lines of communication open and honest when working remotely. Whereas in an office setting, you can drop by your teammate’s desk or pull everyone into a meeting room if an issue arises, this is not quite so simple with a remote team.
This is what makes using project management software essential. Implementing an easy-to-use project management system can not only make it easy for your team to communicate with each other and with you but can help track project progress, overspend and the responsibilities of each team member.
Most importantly, the team is granted an overview of outstanding tasks on the product backlog, so they can work together collaboratively, increasing productivity and efficiency.
At WeAssemble, we’re committed to helping businesses achieve their software development goals. That means providing you with the support you need to assemble the perfect offshore team. We believe remote teams are the future of work and are proud to say that our partners can optimise costs by up to 50%.
Working with WeAssemble gets you access to the best web and software development teams and freelancers in India. Your talent alignment team manages the team-building process from start to finish. That includes finding the right world-class developers for your project, getting them set up with the right tools, and onboarding your team to deliver on your vision. That equals more time for you to focus on being a leader.
Your offshore team is waiting to be built for you. Contact WeAssemble today.