Working with a remote team will involve some challenges, and one of them is how to hold regular project review meetings with your developers, who could be an ocean away. In this post, we give you tips on how you can conduct meetings effectively in a distributed team set-up.
TIP 1: Set the frequency of meetings
Create a working rhythm for the team by establishing the frequency of meetings right from the start. Start with weekly schedules, usually on a Monday. Then from there, set monthly or quarterly project reviews as you see fit.
You and your remote team must agree on a schedule that allows for maximum availability of all, or at least key members. If you have team members working on a different time zone, have them manage their time in order to align with the schedule of meetings.
TIP 2: Use collaboration and communication tools
Take full advantage of various collaboration and project management platforms that not only allow you and your remote team to work on a project together, but also allow you to monitor various stages and completion levels of the project. Examples of popular collaboration and project management options include:
- Google Drive
When conducting meetings, use messaging services that come with video chatting capabilities. For better results, utilize platforms that allow you and your team to share the computer screen during a call.
If you have team members joining the meeting who are outside the office, select messaging tools that are compatible with both desktop computers and mobile devices.
TIP 3: Prepare the agenda or study points for discussion before meetings
Be prepared for every meeting. Set the agenda, and then cascade it to all participating members before any schedule meeting. The earlier, the better.
Again, take full advantage of collaboration or project management tools in establishing the points of discussion in advance. Furthermore, use that opportunity to review the latest developments yourself. Also, expect some probable questions that will come up during a meeting.
On a related note, ready the equipment, devices, or software tools that you will use before every meeting.
TIP 4: Set expectations for the next meeting
After every meeting, be sure to set expectations and even deadlines, either for the next scheduled meeting or for subsequent ones. Be firm and clear, but realistic.
Document everything (these can be done through project management tools) to allow for proper syncing, ensuring that there are no redundant completions or neglected tasks (e.g. because everybody thinks somebody has already done it).
BONUS TIP: Go for live face-to-face communication
Alway aim for more face-to-face meetings with your team members, wherever they are. Face-to-face meetings through video chats trump email and text-only messaging every time. The more you interact with your team through video chat, the better trust and rapport you can build, simply because you get to see the personalities of every member, which you can’t do via email or chat. Lastly, always remember that over-communicating is always better than under-communicating.
Looking for more tips on managing your remote teams? Check out our webinar The Secret to Having an Amazingly Effective Remote Team!