Read | Practice | Advance
Corporate software development is much more team effort then individual. Most of the cases we work in a team. Real situation may happen like the team (team member) is managed by a manager who work from another country. In that case we can say him/her offshore software development manager. Here I write few tips (of course real life experiences) those
may help us to work efficiently with remote manager.
1. Before start working with her (offshore manager), we should study on her. We should know her technical background, professional experience, personal preferences etc. It will help us to build a strong professional relationship.
2. If she maintains any blogs, or publish articles, writing books etc. please read those content. If she does not have anything like that search her previous emails. Read those carefully and try to understand her writing style. It will help us to communicate with her by email.
3. If she maintains any social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, Instagram etc. try to connect with her by those. Try to read her statuses/post/shared items etc and if possible share your thoughts with proper comments. It will create a good social relationship other then professional relationship. It would help to work with her formally as well as informally. Just point to be remember that some times informal work is give us much better result then formal work specially in software development field.
4. When she sent any email with working instructions, that might need much time to accomplish, send her acknowledgement mail first then when the job done, send her work status email.
5. Before starting email communications, first we should know her email checking time/pattern. I have worked with a manager who checked his email in his office time, before go to sleep and early morning. So we have to remember that time to need urgent communication with her by email.
6. When we do any online video/audio conference, before start conference, we have to do home work. After conference done, we may send him our understanding by email. If we want to document it (actually it is better), we can create a document. To do so we can maintain wiki type document. It will create less chance for confusion.
7. During working time, we should not assume anything. Instead of that we can directly ask her. If situation like we bound to assume something for implement something, as quick as possible we should inform her. Otherwise in future it may create problem.
8. Always update her about current working status. We should remember that she need to inform her boss about our status. The update mechanism may be send status report by email. It is better if we use any web application like JIRA. JIRA will help her about work progress by its dashboard feature.
9. We have to check email after office hour. It any emergency needed it will help us to solve problem quickly.
10. One thing need to understand properly that is, her time is more valuable than ours. So we should always try to save her time.
11. Sometime for time restriction we do not follow proper solution. In those cases we provide hack solution and we do plan like in future we will spent few times and solve it proper way. It is also very important to inform her about those hack solutions. If any problem is raised for those hack solution she can support us.
12. When we do any project at initial stage we have to do communication as much as possible. Because initial period, much time is spent for clearing requirement. If any wrong thing happened in initial time and future it is identified then it will be very costly to solve that. So maximum communication of initial period can safe our life.
13. Sometimes manager can do mistake. We should take it normally. We try to show that politely. Try to understand her situation that she is alone and we are many.
14. If any important mail we send her, Just mark that mail as important. It will create more attention.
15. Sometimes she can unintentionally ignore few emails. In that case we can forward that email to her with polite message.
16. Sometimes we may have not much task. In that case we can request her for working items. It may be happen that she has already prepared many asks for us but she think that we are busy with something.
17. If she have taken long vacation, it is our responsibility to receive working items from her during her absent period, so that we are not become idle.
18. If we take leave, we should also inform her as early as possible. Just remember that we are resource and it is her responsibility do plan to use. So it will help her to do a good plan if we inform early about our vacation plan.
19. Everyone has limitations. It is universal truth. We should know our limitations. We should not hide that from her ( manager). She should have right to know which things we are capable which are not. It will help her to work with us smoothly.
20. We should make her confidence about our work. For that reason we have to do smart working and it should be visible to her. How we make it visible to her it is depends on context/scenario and how we can handle those.
21. Communication is a very vital part specially for offshore software development. So every individual should communicate with offshore manager. One may lead the communication but no one can bypass it. If anyone has any lacking she should address those first and then try to solve it. It may take time but again should not bypass communication skills.