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From micromanaging to self-managing remote software development

Sumit Shrestha
Digital Marketer

How does remote software development really work? If your business is thinking about investing in software development beyond your existing in-house capacity, then reliability, expertise, and team integration are key areas to prioritize – especially if the team you’re hiring is based in another part of the world. What assurances do you have that they can meet your development needs? Will they require micromanaging?

Thankfully, Proshore’s proven solution of ‘teams as a service’ is a lot more agile, competitive, and scalable than traditional models of ‘outsourcing’. So how does it work? 

Let’s take a closer look at how we partnered with a Netherlands-based business who were looking for an affordable solution to scale their software development, without costly talent acquisition and expensive onboarding.

Seamless integration

Data collection platform CMNTY is just one of many businesses who have taken advantage of our unique scalability solution, in their particular case, to complement their quantitative data services with a qualitative data product (you can read more about our work with CMNTY in our detailed case study).

Bringing Proshore onboard, CMNTY had a ready-made team of developers who could add capacity and integrate comfortably within their existing team. It started with one developer, and slowly expanded as extra-capacity was needed. Unlike some clients, who know what they want but not how to develop it, the CTO at CMNTY understood the challenges faced. He was previously a developer and had been working on the product for a long time. 

Due to the nature of the product, data collection for insights professionals, the software had been in ever-evolving development for about ten years, so there was a lot of code for the Proshore team to get to grips with. However, with one team member already in place to assist, it was straightforward for additional team members to complete their onboarding, which took about one month. This enabled the Proshore team to get to know how CMNTY worked, and be clear about the deliverables. 

Teamwork & technical refinement

Another advantage of working with a ready-made remote team from Proshore – a team who already know each other well – is that their team leader knows their strengths, and is, therefore, able to deploy developers effectively. This means that when you bring in a Proshore team, once onboarded we quickly become self-managing.

It helps to have a team leader to manage the technical aspects of the work, but we also offer the services of a scrum master who is able to manage the agile process of daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and so on. This means that the team leader can focus on getting the technical details right.

Not only that, but as with the CMNTY collaboration, we also offer an additional process of technical refinement, going through the existing code to understand what’s there and make crucial updates where needed. With time allocated to do that, we could understand the depth of the task ahead of the next sprint. 

With CMNTY, it was a real advantage to have a product owner who was a former developer and could explore ways of moving things forward and slowly increase the velocity, so we were able to deliver more and meet our targets for the sprint.

Agile across time zones

Agile working actually lends itself to remote working, and for Proshore as an organization based in the Netherlands and Nepal, it’s always been part of how we operate. With CMNTY, also based in the Netherlands, the main meetings were about refinement, and these were an opportunity for the team leader to ask questions for clarity across the sprints. 

The biggest challenge for us was probably coordinating across time zones! Depending on Daylight Saving Time, the Netherlands and Nepal were either three or four hours apart. But it’s part of what we do, and our teams are experienced in working that way.

Key takeaways from our CMNTY collaboration

Proshore is still currently working alongside CMNTY and may well expand their involvement depending on the scope of upcoming work. 

Something our team really enjoyed is being made to feel part of the CMNTY company. It’s a recurring theme in many of our collaborations, and a sign of successful integrations.

So what have we learned from this experience?

  • In the early stages of a collaboration, it’s important not to over-commit and show flexibility in terms of priorities, and what needs to be delivered. 
  • When there’s ten years of existing code, there’s a lot to learn from the architecture and that can be applied to other developments. 
  • Having retrospective meetings helps you review what worked and what didn’t. And having a process helps us stay on the right track 
  • The process is essential, but so is flexibility in order to be adaptable to changes and deal with issues when they arise. 
  • Working collaboratively facilitates shared learning. Both teams learn from each other, sharing ideas and architectures. 

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a single developer or a complete team, Proshore’s self-managing ‘development teams as a service’ model enables our clients to scale without intensive micromanagement.

As a cost-effective, long-term service partner, businesses bring us alongside to accelerate their growth and utilize the technical talent and experience of our teams in Nepal.

Wondering how our teams-as-a-service solution can help your business to grow? Why not book a discovery call today?

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