Expert advice from Intetics on what makes distributed software development an optimal model for CTOs
Distributed software development allows IT teams to work on projects across geographic lines and modern tools, reducing costs
NAPLES, Fla., November 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Labor markets have not recovered from the economic disruptions that hit the world in 2020. Both the job losses and the reduction in working hours have reached a historically unprecedented scale, four times bigger than in 2009. And now, in 2021, the challenges for employers have taken on a new shape – businesses I can’t find the right people to fill vacancies.
Many projects are not delivered due to the paradox of high unemployment rates occurring at the same time as record job openings.
Additionally, employers still pay wages for “idle time” – times when employees are busy but unable to complete work.
What should also be mentioned is that average earnings in the IT sector are increasing at the expense of employers. This change was motivated by the need to attract and retain workers. However, retaining talent is becoming increasingly difficult. Developers tend to work on multiple projects simultaneously, which does not positively reflect their loyalty to the company.
Why distributed development is taking over
In response, companies are adopting a different way of teaming up with developers – like remote, collaborative, and distributed development. At the onset of the pandemic, companies were forced to adapt to “the new abnormality” and move to remote work. But now that most of the dust has settled, we can see areas that will never be the same again. Distributed teams are part of the “new normal”.
The trend is not new. Distributed development has long been recognized as beneficial for businesses. To name just a few good points, it allows businesses to employ a diverse and highly skilled workforce without geographic limitations. Second, it lowers the cost of employment, alleviating the need for face-to-face meetings and travel costs (especially useful in today’s salary environment). Finally, it offers enough structure to have a well-organized project but also enough flexibility to increase productivity and confidence.
What’s different now is that distributed development is taking place on a completely different scale. Formerly a voluntary measure, it became a necessity in 2020 and then became a strategic step forward.
How decision-makers can change mindsets and behaviors when adopting DSD
Developing distributed software requires a change in mindset. Thus, companies must adopt unique working models and adapt existing models to strengthen remote working. The first practice to follow is to set up a boot camp at the start of the project. It serves two distinct purposes: ensures a shared understanding of tooling, code standards, definition of completion and initial architecture design, and creates a welcoming virtual environment.
Next is what we call a “spinning guru”. This is someone who communicates the context of the host team to members of the distributed team. In turn, the distributed team has the opportunity to insert their own ideas, making it a two-way collaboration. Not to be confused with an inspection or an audit. During their stay with the local team (which ideally takes several weeks), the guru works as a regular member of the team. The goal is not to intimidate the team but to foster a relationship where ideas and initiatives can flourish.
While co-located teams have the luxury of communicating face-to-face, there must be a close equivalent to that of distributed teams. Go the extra mile to maintain continuous high-bandwidth communication, again, for several purposes – the efficient exchange of information, overlapping schedules and for keeping up with key events.
It is also possible to rotate the time zone difference in a way that benefits the common goal. By pairing a member of a distributed team with a member of another distributed team, managers encourage knowledge transfer. But as with the “spinning guru”, it is important to separate these pairs and form new ones.
Most of these efforts boil down to creating a shared community. This refers as much to the team spirit as to the knowledge base of the project. All teams should have access to a single source of information. Otherwise, it leads to misinformed actions and downtime.
Guidelines for Managing Collocated and Remote Teams
As companies roll out their new geographically distributed network, there are a few guidelines:
All teams should be treated equally, with no in-house / outsourced division.
Find the balance between surveillance and trust.
Maintain the same standards throughout the recruiting process.
Build autonomous teams (a few developers + PM + QA).
Separate program management from engineering.
Prevent convergence of architectural frameworks with regular design team meetings.
Focus on testing.
Recognize achievements and organize virtual meetings that anyone can participate in.
When it comes to in-house models and outsourced models, the good news is that companies can choose both. Intetics combines the best practices of the Remote In-Sourcing model and dedicated offshore teams. After completing several projects, it is safe to say that the two models can coexist in a coordinated fashion. And with online collaboration and communication tools, it is possible to bridge the gap between teams working on different components and modules.
One of the values defended by Intetics is to create partnerships with our customers – keeping their promises and keeping an open mind for future long-term projects.
These teams share the results-oriented approach and the commitment to each project. And in times of conflict, teams remain autonomous, knowing how to take charge of local processes.
Many companies have already faced the challenges of organizing remote work. Thus, being able to rely on a system successfully set up of dedicated remote teams is always an important asset.
Intetics is ready to support your project every step of the way, you can find out more about new trends in our White paper: “Distributed software development: how to build your product and create your team” or simply contact us for To start.
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