Remote software development is experiencing a solid growth thanks to the number of advantages that it provides for businesses and entrepreneurs. From cutting down on the cost of office maintenance to access to new markets and talents, remote software engineering became a rewarding practice for companies big and small.
Whether we are talking about an in-house team being distributed in various geographic locations or outsourced offshore and onshore teams, we face the same challenges in remote team management.
Communication and resource accessibility are the main concerns for the remote team member on software development projects. Even though technology and access to the internet eliminated the majority of barriers making working remotely a possibility in the first place, there are still difficulties that are affected by outside factors such as time zone differences, language barriers, misunderstanding, etc.
To ensure the success of the project, it is the team leader’s (or a manager) responsibility to provide team members with handy tools that will facilitate the work, improve productivity, and minimize the risks of miscommunication that can harm the project.
Luckily, the market offers us plenty of tools to choose from. From productivity trackers to file sharing, there are options with different features that will suit any kind of remote software development team. The ones in this list have been selected and tested on dozens of projects at Trio.
Trello has earned its popularity thanks to the visual list creation tool that allows you to follow the project progress in a simple and visual way. By creating cards with tasks and rearranging them along the way, you can delegate assignments, track progress, collect and store information, plan and organize work processes.
This is a perfect example of software that doesn’t need to be complicated to serve its purpose perfectly. Simple, yet effective design, and straightforward functionality makes it a sure choice for the teams that need to collaborate on a number of complex tasks.
It is hard to imagine a remote team that is communicating without using Slack. Even its tagline, “Where work happens”, speaks about its indispensability in project management. It is a communication tool that allows collaboration between team members through chats, calls and document sharing. It’s a simple, yet a compelling tool that brings all the team members together.
Slack is present in both mobile and web versions, allowing its users to collaborate and coordinate from wherever they are. It’s affordable price and practical features make it a top communication choice for many remote software development teams.
Another prominent communication tool is Zoom, a service for video calls, web conferences, and other types of video communications. It’s a reliable cloud-based service that facilitates online meetings through audio and video calling. One of the features that users find most helpful is video recordings, that help to create educational videos, document common procedures, etc. Even though it does have options for messaging, Zoom is mostly known for its features of video calling and its high-quality.
Dropbox is a cloud-based file hosting service that helps its users to store all information in the same place and minimize time wasted by making it shareable and easy to access for all remote team members. It’s an online library designed to organize and manage the documents. It is compatible with various devices and can be accessed both from the web and mobile applications.
The free version of Dropbox provides you with 2 GB of cloud storage space, but if you are planning to use more space (which is often the case with larger and more complex software development projects) you might want to consider it’s paid versions that start at $8.25 per month.
Another practical project management software that was created to help teams organize, assign, track, and follow up on their tasks. Asana’s design is task-oriented which makes it an excellent tool for remote work management. Its tasks assignments are built-in bigger projects which helps the development process through the division of larger parts of the project into smaller bits and delegating them to the team members.
It's clear and straightforward design allows you to instantly see the progress and who is responsible for which part of the project, making miscommunication about the roles and responsibilities unlikely.
Redbooth is a web-based collaboration tool that is designed for team task management. It aims at providing all tools in one place to simplify communication and advance project management. It welcomes customers from all industries and has earned high praise from remote software development teams, making it a strong competition to Asana and Basecamp.
When it comes to project management tools, Basecamp has earned the trust of its customers' thanks to the simple interface and actionable task items. Using due dates, calendaring, and to-do lists help users to set the priority and organize their work based on the urgency of the tasks.
Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that can be used both from a computer and mobile devices. It is packed with all kinds of handy features making remote project management centralized and convenient.
Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio - visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy - Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely.
Some key features project managers would love about Milanote among others is the ability to write notes & to-do lists, upload images & files and save things you find on the web. It lets you organize visually using the flexible drag and drop interface.
Milanote boards by default are a private place to think, but with a single click you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team. Milanote is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief.
Of course, this is not a full list of project management software that facilitates the work of remote teams. At Trio, as a remote company, we closely work with a number of tools that make the lives of our remote software engineers much easier. From our experience, these options are the most beneficial for a remote team. However, not all teams are made the same and finding software that is right for your team is the key to successful and fruitful work.