Managing From Home: Running Software Teams in a Remote-First World

The New World: Working from Home

Atlassian announced they are going all in on working from home. Similarly, many tech companies are here to shift to a much more remote-first or asynchronous working style permanently. This includes industry giants such as Netflix, AWS or Google.

While working from home has got its advantages, you don’t have to be stuck in traffic or jammed into public transport, it comes with its own set of challenges. This includes a more remote social environment, less interaction with team members and more difficult planning.

The New Challenge: Managing from Home

Working from Home (WFH) is often seen from the perspective of the employees only. However, similar or not even greater challenges are experienced by team leaders, managers and VPs. This is particularly true for fast moving and agile software development teams.

When everyone is cramped into the same office it is inevitable to be aware what is going around you. The good and the bad. As a manager you are in touch with the teams, you feel the mood and you sense when things turn bad and need your attention.

Danger of missing the delivery deadline? You’ll know it. The build is broken again and everyone grinds to a halt? You’ll sure hear about it. The team is overworked and reviews get dropped? Likely you will overhear someone complaining. While it can be distracting, you are always on the delivery pulse even without formal meetings, stand-ups and 1:1s.

In a WFH setting these signals are typically not that easily perceptible. You don’t overhear the engineering team, you don’t sense the mood. All those Slack messages, Zoom calls and emails are more distracting from your work at home. As a result, those signals get muted.

The New Solution:  Engineering Intelligence

As engineering managers, one can recover much of those subtle signals from the many engineering tools you have deployed. Issue trackers like Jira will tell you if progress is made, GitHub and GitLab repositories document if reviews get done and have the data to extrapolate your delivery velocity, build server logs tell you when something is broken and slow.

However, when managing a team (remotely) you get swamped with noise and unlikely have the time to dig into each of these systems individually to painfully extract the signals. Moreover, you won’t have the time to do this continuously to stay on top of it continuously.

This is where Logilica Insights comes in. We connect with your Git and DevOps systems and automatically collect and fuse the data. We perform the analytics continuously to give you the insights of how things a going. Some key questions Logilica Insights answer for you are:

  • What is my development velocity? How have the team’s cycle times been affected recently? What are our delivery speed bottlenecks?
  • Are our processes followed? Do pull requests get reviewed? Do we have a good mix of reviewers or do we overload some team members?
  • What is our waste? Do we have too many items that get started in parallel, but get never finished or are blocked?

These are just a few of the signals that Logilica Insights tracks and delivers to you. For a distributed and asynchronous team these questions are essential to keep the development organisation running smoothly.

Delivery Processes
Detect when work gets wasted and when processes drop

Logilica Insights for Remote Teams

Logilica Insights makes life easier and much more productive for both managers and teams. Logilica Insights keeps track of a comprehensive picture of data and metrics so you can get the signals you need to manage your teams. At the same time, it does not stand in the way of software developers, does not require extensive training and does not create additional reporting burden by individual contributors.

This is a great way to manage teams in a remote or non-remote setting. Logilica Insights gives you the automatic heads-up display to see warning signs, unblock processes and improve productivity.

This does not, however, alleviate the need for proper inter-personal management. Logilica does not look at individuals’ performance, which is always a subjective and personal task. However, Logilica focusses on signals for teams and processes. After all, this is where things can go wrong big time and where big improvements can be made for the benefit of individuals and the organisations.

Like to learn more? Sign up for a free trial or join one of our personal introductions.

Ralf Huuck
Founder & CEO of Logilica
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