Effective way of working with remote web developer begins with actually selecting the best web developer, once that is done then the next steps are to ensure you get most out of the web developer.
Sharing a Big Picture:
RATHER THAN ONLY sharing a module based or functional specification with the developer, try to share more insight into the domain of your work. This will enable him to think why are you developing this web product, what is the exact problem are you trying to solve, who are your target users and what is their demography? and many other useful pieces of information, which will bring him up to your level of product’s understanding. This will enable the web developer to provide you solutions, which are in line with your target audience. In this process you may also get some other perspective or ideas from the web developer, which may be worth considering. This will also give the web developer a feeling of connecting well as a team player.
IF YOU GET-OVER that lazy feeling of documentation, then it can really reap you multiple benefits. First, more you document your requirements, tasks, issues you faced, clearer it will become to the web developer to understand the problem you face and s/he will need less time in interpreting your requirements correctly. During this process of documentation I recommend the use of Screenshots, Videos and textual information. There are various collaboration tools, which can create screenshots and videos absolutely with no-time. If required try to use Screen Sharing tools to show the developer exactly what you mean.
Since this documentation is getting auto-recorded either on the server or on your computer, this is also automatically creating a chronology of actions and when you refer back it can tell you what was done, why was it done, when and by whom.
Optimize Task Scheduling:
WHEN YOU ARE working with remote web developer, I am assuming s/he will be in totally different timezone than yours. Having said that, you must schedule the tasks in a way where you take advantage of time zone difference and make him/her work when you are sleeping and answer all his/her queries, or review the work when the web developer is sleeping, thus effectively working round the clock for your product. If you do not answer something which the web developer is stuck on and needs the next day, then the web developer have nothing to work on and will waste his/her day’s time. Thus, optimize the task scheduling keeping
in mind the time-zone difference.
Effective use of Task and Issue Tracking Tools:
If you set up a ready-made task tracking tool and list and allocate the tasks to the web developer based on their priorities then it makes the best utilization of the developer’s time. If s/he is stuck on something then s/he can simply pick-up the next thing in the list than waiting for you to answer.
SINCE YOU ARE dealing with a remote developer, a situation of out of sight-out of mind may arise and we can deal with it by having pre-scheduled weekly meetings. Most importantly from a web application owner viewpoint consider following aspects in the review -
- Weekly backup of source code or Use some Source Code Versioning Software.
- A status update of what has been achieved this week.
- A plan of what is going to be achieved in the following week.
- Take walk-through of the project by screen sharing.
- Share concerns if any and appreciate the work done.
Leverage the technology to source and work with capable global team members!