Managing Distributed Teams¶
In the Managing a New Community and Team and Leadership in Data Science chapters, we have already discussed in-depth how we can manage a new online community and build healthy leadership for a team. Therefore, in this subchapter, we have listed a few reminders of tasks that are specifically important for managing distributed teams.
Set clear expectations for the team members about the project and their roles and responsibilities.
Help establish all modes of communication, tools, and resources according to the team’s requirements for both their project and social interactions.
Coordinate the development and maintenance of all the required documentation such as the organisation’s policies, participation guidelines, project charter, and information of other team members.
Ensure that details of these resources are available for all members through a central repository, with information on how they can access them.
Respect time differences when dealing with members across different time zones and assigning tasks. Allow a degree of flexibility as per their working situation or caring responsibilities they may have.
Schedule team meetings where everyone can share what they are working on and invite contributions and support from others in the team.
Before the meeting, provide the meeting agenda in a shared document, preferably that can be updated by the team members in case they want to suggest a new agenda point. This document can also be used for taking notes during the event.
Share minutes (and video recording when possible) to make sure that everyone is up-to-date, even those who couldn’t attend the meeting.
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to ensure that your team members can check-in with you, align ideas as per the project’s requirement, hold accountability for their work, and receive constructive feedback.
Create opportunities for informal interactions that can help create a friendly work environment and build a strong sense of team spirit.
Encourage and embrace diversity and a culture of collaboration.