Are handoff that difficult for geographically distributed teams?
Have you seen the game where information needs to be passed by the group of participants, either verbally or by action? By the time information reaches the last person, it is either 10% true or entirely false/opposite.
"We tend to lose the information while passing it down from one person to the other!"
Remote work is being perceived as ‘Unlimited Vacation’ because of its time-agnostic and result-based culture! Yet CEOs are not completely comfortable with a 100% remote working model. They are good with the hybrid model but not the entire switch to remote work.
The main reason behind it is handing off work from one remote team member to another, especially in where CI/CD model is applied.
Is it only because of the communication gap that information is lost? What causes the true loss of information in the distributed teams?
Remote teamwork does not happen by chance, it is a consistent effort that makes it work!
Here we have identified the three components that together result in the efficient hand-off of the work in distributed teams!
When working from different locations and various timezones, virtual meetings, and calls are not always possible. Hence, it is important that every work is being documented. Documentation must be in a similar/universal style so that it is easy to understand and implement the instructions for all the team members.
Also, various timezones mean you need to give sufficient time for responding to the queries. Having the right buffer time for each work is a must. Hence, team managers need to do advanced planning and management of the overall resources.
Processes are the bridge between strategy and execution!
Distributed teams majorly follow the Agile methodology of work. In this model, various tasks of development and testing are being done in one sprint. Hence, it is important to keep the track of work to the point. In such cases, frequent documentation may or may not be possible.
Right tools that aid collaboration and documentation both will increase the work track accuracy. Instead of meetings, calls, and frequent, one could just pick up the assigned task, complete it and mark it as done.
The distributed team certainly means a culturally diverse team. Now all rules that apply for culturally diverse teams apply to the remote team as well. Letting people feel inclusive of the team becomes of the utmost importance to make them work as a team.
Thus, organizations must have culture defined as soon as they can. This should include the timings for meetings, call schedules, sending Minutes-of-meeting for future references. The culture needs to be reinforced from time to time. Otherwise, remote workers would be more like freelancers.
Adherence to the organization’s culture by anyone must be rewarded, so people understand and remember its importance.
"Thus, we see that communication is not only the thread to pass the information accurately amongst the distributed team members. It also needs the right processes to be set, efficient collaborative tools, and defined work culture. This is only when the hand-offs will be efficient for distributed teams."
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