4 Best Practices for leading remote technology teams

After conversations with most of you, I would like to congratulate you all for the way you have led your teams and have all worked 24-hour days to enable remote working and continued operations for your organisations. I hope you have received the internal recognition you deserve for this heroic effort.

Now that you are all working remotely here are some best practices that may be useful in leading your IT teams:

1. Consistent and calm messaging – it is critical that your messaging is consistent, and that everyone is on the same page. Your teams will look to you, as to the way you respond, and calm and empathic messaging is supremely important. Many of your teams will have children at home, which can make it very challenging to focus. So have empathy for the shared situation and accept that its tough.

2. Remove red tape – while it is important to remain compliant, now is the time as a leader to enable your teams and move as much red tape and administration load as possible so your staff can get their jobs done. Post and if possible automated review and security processes are paramount.

3. Resource optimisation – It has become clear that organisations may have to re organise the way their teams are structured moving forward and having multi skilled people is so important in these situations. Many companies are moving Dev staff into Ops to help deal with the increased workload at the moment. Moving forward multi skilling will be a key priority. Look for ways to balance human resources and don’t be a victim of titles. Just because an individual’s title is Testing Manager” doesn’t mean they can’t help a Systems Administrator whose worked 48 hours in a row.

4. Scaling issues – For many organisationThis situation has revealed scaling and architecture issues at key points in their architecture. This can be:

· Websites- old school on premises websites that need physical scaling. Look at ways to recode web pages so they are less resource intensive and more efficient. You may want to look at a loosely coupled and or cloud-based auto-scaling architecture in the future.

· VPN bandwidth- the scenario has revealed limitations in bandwidth when everyone is working remotely. Look at ways to have scalable bandwidth such as SD-WAN solutions moving forward.

· Infrastructure scaling- this is not the time for many of you to move applications to the cloud. It may be an opportunity to look at how you can redesign your infrastructure so you can more easily scale up resources in the cloud or redistribute resources within your environment.

Most importantly try and have some fun at home and use this time to up skill your teams and plan for changes and maybe reflect on the questions “ if this happens again how would I like my infrastructure and team to look?”

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