Essential Tools and Processes for Remote Development Projects
When you nearshore a software development project you have to rely on technology and well-thought-through processes to ensure it runs smoothly. A remote software development team with extensive experience of working with clients based in other countries will have these systems in place. They ensure the project advances at the required pace, that any problems and bugs are identified and rectified quickly, that all tasks are synchronized and completed on time, and that communication is effective so that everyone is “in the loop.”
Achieving all these objectives would present challenges even if you were developing the software in-house, as they are not easy objectives to achieve. For example, how do you put in place a system that efficiently and effectively identifies and rectifies bugs but that does not encourage a culture of blame and accusation? How do you create a team atmosphere with individuals who have never met in person, and how do you ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date when thousands of miles separate the participants?
The answer is technology, tools and processes. Here are some of the most important:
BugTracker is an application that is widely used in the software industry to track and report bugs, allocate severity levels, and create workflows to resolve the issues. It is configurable to each project and has email integration so that conversation threads are maintained and remain linked to the original bug report.
That’s what BugTracker does, but why is it important? BugTracker assists with the development process, it speeds it up, and it reduces the potential for problems in the future.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools are often closely aligned with bug tracking applications. These tools ensure that all tasks related to the project are properly specified and allocated for completion. Deadlines and sequencing are an important part of this process.
For the software developer, a project management tool helps them complete the project as per your requirements. From your perspective it is a powerful management tool that will keep you up-to-date with the progress. This will help you ensure it stays on track, and it will help you identify potential future bottlenecks or problems.
Instant Messaging and Chat Facilities
Being able to communicate with programmers and managers in real time is an essential part of any remote development project. Instant messaging and chat tools give you this capability without the intrusiveness that is often associated with a telephone call or video call.
Many projects do benefit from regular virtual meetings, often conducted using Skype or similar tools. These could be weekly or daily meetings, and they often take the form of a daily stand-up – a short, focused meeting designed to identify issues and move the project forward.
As you can see, these tools and processes use technology to deliver results similar to those you would achieve if everyone on the project was based in the same building. This is one of the most important things to remember if outsourcing to a nearshore software developer – you don’t have to compromise on anything, including day-to-day management, reporting, and general efficiencies.