Just as important as how you build software, it’s equally as important how you work as a team. In-person or remote, a team that works well together is more efficient and more productive. Having a solid plan on how you build software and work together will yield incredible team results.
Hiring a Design Contractor or Vendor
This guide is meant to help teams who’d like to bring on a design contractor or vendor and need help interviewing, evaluating, and onboarding a designer once hired.
Remote Tips: Building Relationships
Socializing Here are a few ways your team can make remote work fun: Create virtual water cooler Zoom rooms and Slack channels with specific themes (e.g., favorite movie, last night’s dinner, #baking, #bad-jokes, etc.). ⏱ Set 10 minutes of casual catch-up time at the start of meetings. 🍩 Have a team donut chat (randomized 1:1s). 🥅 Plan team activities based on personal goals and needs. Play with Snap Camera to have a little fun on video calls with Snapchat style filters.
Remote Tips: Facilitation
Setting team working agreements and ground rules Agree on tools that everyone has access to. Agree on how you will communicate, interact, and make decisions. This can be based on user manuals created by each team member: Chat tools are used for _________ . Email is used for ___________ . I tap someone on the shoulder by doing _________. Standup is for _________ . Stand-down is for ____________. Clearly set the agenda, desired outcomes and a timebox for each session.
Remote Tips: Physical Space
On this page, you’ll find examples of some VMware employees’ setups within their home in order to give you insight and inspiration on how to set up your own physical space. In addition to these examples, you’ll find a quick interview with each practitioner about how and why they set up their space this way. Setup examples Alex Sherman (Product Manager, Atlanta) How comfortable are you within your home physical space?
Remote Tips: Remote is Exhausting
Creating the right working environment Everyone should have a good audio headset with a directional mic. Establish boundaries and transitions: separate work from life by carving out a dedicated workspace and find ways to remove it from your vision while not working. It’s OK for family and pets to appear in your video; we’re all human. Introduce variety: work from different parts of the house. Turn off notifications. Try Krisp, a video conferencing add-on that mutes not only your background noise, but also that of everyone else on the call.
Remote Tips: Tools and Tips
Agreeing on the tool stack Try to minimize your tool stack! Agree with your team on which tools you’ll use for certain tasks: Conversations via video/audio Collaborate/ideate/whiteboard Messaging/chat Pair programming Scheduling and recording events Retros Sharing documents Product backlog Team TODOs When working with other teams (e.g., clients, collaborators) understand their tooling limitations and find the best alternatives you can. Ensure everyone knows how to use the chosen tools before the project.