When you’re just starting up a company and on a small budget, it’s common to hire remote teams. But this has its own challenges—namely, making sure that they’re doing the right work, and avoiding any miscommunication. Anand Pradhan, the founder of Lenders.com, has developed a simple process for managing his remote team: when he starts working on a new project with his developer, he sets aside one hour so the developer can ask him questions immediately via Skype. They’ll then take a two-hour break in which the developer works independently, followed by another one-hour live session.
While this might seem like a time-intensive process, it actually saves time in the long run. Pradhan notes, "It’s worked better than working on projects based mainly on a scope of work because of the increased frequency of communication." While most project schedules would space check-ins over the course of the week, this leaves the founder uncertain about progress, and forces the developer to make decisions which may not be in line with the founder’s needs. When the first check in does occur, work will inevitably have to be redone, leading to frustration for both parties. In addition, having a rhythm of check-ins and independent work allows both the founder and developer to step away from potential problems, and come back to them with a fresh perspective.
Takeaway: When working with remote teams, over-communicate in real time whenever possible. More frequent check-ins upfront can avoid hassle down the line.