9. December 2021

The demand for IT resources in parts of Europe is a battlefield – too many companies chasing too few specialists. For many businesses, it is extremely difficult to recruit the skills they need in their development department. Therefore, many choose to recruit nearshore development teams where availability, flexibility and costs are attractive.
Once a company decides on this, a number of aspects have to be considered, such as:

  • Who should be Project Manager ensuring that development and project goals go hand in hand?
  • How much time should the Project Manager invest in the remote team?
  • What will the daily routines be?
  • How can information flow and knowledge sharing between the in-house and remote teams be optimized?

Using 15 years of accumulated best practices, our delivery managers help our clients with all of the above questions. Answers will often depend on team size, complexity of the project, development process and whether or not the team has a team lead.

Most teams have daily stand-ups with their client’s Project Manager, discussing current tasks and progress in general. A central factor in remote team success is communication flow and constant confirmation of the project being on track.

Team lead or not?

Once the software developers have been recruited, the daily routines and development processes have to be set up. Conscensia actively facilitates the onboarding process and our delivery managers guide the client’s Project Manager in remote team management processes.

If a client has 1-3 developers on the team, the Project Manager at the client side can usually handle all tasks involved with both the development of the project and management of the remote team.

However, as soon as the team increases to 4-5 or more, we encourage clients to promote a senior developer to team lead. The team lead is always next to his/her colleagues; is someone to whom they can turn for advice as well as follow in terms of leadership. The purpose of the role is to maintain at all times a proper vision of the project, help with setting up and maintaining processes within the team as well as ensuring high quality of deliverables, meeting client objectives and priorities.

8 Benefits of Having a Team Lead

The team lead is the Project Manager’s right hand, and assists in a number of important tasks:

1. Team coordination: Helping with communication/clarification, workload, task assignments, progress tracking etc. and reacting to and taking responsibility for team members’ well-being and the team’s performance – as well as keeping the Project Manager oriented.

2. Communication: Ensuring all team members have the same understanding in respect of project plans and vision (both current and future).

3. Recruitment/team changes: Participating in job interviews and supporting in decision making, as well as initiating team changes according to project needs.

4. Evaluations: Filling in evaluation forms of local team members, discussing performance with the Project Manager and Conscensia’s HR specialists and participating in evaluation dialogues with the team.

5. Team education: Recommending and monitoring need for additional training or certification of team members, as well as mentoring junior team members.

6. Team motivation: Evaluating and monitoring personal motivational factors for individual team members, establishing a good working atmosphere in the team, initiating and organizing teambuilding events.

7. Risk and conflict management: Monitoring potential risks in the team/project, preventing conflicts where possible and helping to resolve them if they arise.

8. Reporting: Providing additional reports to the client if requested (time, status, progress, risks, vacation, sicknesses etc.)

The team lead has bimonthly or monthly one-on-one meetings with the Project Manager regarding the above areas, and will unusually spend about 20% of his/her time on these tasks. In order to support our team leads and their tasks, Conscensia has established a Team Lead Club, in which all our team leads are encouraged to participate. They discuss and share their experiences within different relevant topics, such as good practices in interviews when recruiting new colleagues, how to give feedback, how to measure team satisfaction, how to improve retention etc.

At Conscensia, we have 15 years of experience setting up remote teams and providing guidance to our clients on optimal solutions for their project. This experience enables us to facilitate best in class management in remote teams.

If your next business adventure is setting up a nearshore development team – don’t hesitate to contact us!