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Maximizing Collaboration in Augmented Tech Teams: Communication Tools and Best Practices

Augmented tech teams describe a group of tech professionals working together in the context of remote team augmentation, with external members or resources added to the current core team. This augmentation may entail the addition of specialized IT professionals —freelancers, subject matter experts, or external hires—into the current structure of the remote team.


According to an article by PR Newswire, the market for team augmentation services is projected to spend around USD 81.87 billion by 2025. With that, many companies continue to adopt this business model or strategy to enhance their organizational capabilities. Along with outsourcing, team augmentation has strengthened its status as one of the principal pillars of global business operations. 


There are two primary directions in team augmentation: staff augmentation and outstaffing. Both involve integrating external professionals into a team to complement existing skills, but they differ in terms of the nature and duration of engagement.


Collaboration in augmented tech teams comes with its own set of challenges. With team members spread across different locations and time zones, effective communication and coordination become crucial. The complexity of the projects combined with the need for seamless integration of technology further compounds the challenge. This is where effective communication is even more vital, ensuring that team members share the same project goals and align their efforts accordingly.



Communication and Collaboration Tools for Augmented Tech Teams


Effective communication within augmented tech teams holds significant benefits that directly impact productivity and overall success. 


Recent studies, including a report by the McKinsey Institute, highlight the pivotal role of inclusive communication in remote work settings. It shows that workers who are involved in all aspects of workplace communication are almost five times more likely to report increased productivity. This highlights the relationship that exists between inclusive communication and improved productivity in remote IT teams.

Moreover, a comprehensive study conducted by the Harris Poll for Grammarly reaffirms the transformative power of effective communication. A staggering 72% of business leaders credit effective communication for amplifying their team’s productivity. Furthermore, 52% of knowledge workers agree, highlighting the real influence that efficient communication techniques have on group productivity.


Communication plays a critical role in the world of augmented tech teams because collaboration transcends geographical location. Apart from promoting cooperation, communication serves as the foundation of connectedness, establishing a feeling of togetherness and friendship among geographically separated team members. To ensure remote team synergy within remote software development teams, leveraging various communication and collaboration tools becomes imperative. 





Here’s a curated list of highly impactful tools tailored to meet the unique needs of remote software development endeavors.


  1. Slack

Well-known for its instant messaging features, Slack is a flexible platform that facilitates short conversations, file sharing, and channel-based organization. No matter where team members are located, communication is streamlined with threaded chats and customized notifications.


Slack users estimate they save up to 90 minutes a day using Slack instead of email. Slack channels facilitate quick project and issue handling for individuals and cross-departmental teams, ensuring seamless context and visibility retention throughout the process. 


It may sound like this could easily displace email, but Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has suggested that completely replacing email offers no specific advantage. However, Slack appears to outperform email in enhancing productivity and fostering a positive culture, effectively minimizing feelings of isolation among users.


  1. Jira

Specifically designed for agile-driven software development, Jira’s project management capabilities combined with communication features enable teams to track tasks, plan sprints, and manage backlogs effectively, fostering a collaborative environment within specific projects.


In addition to that, Jira offers pre-built scrum and kanban boards, facilitating immediate access to planning and tracking tools. This empowers teams to handle dependencies, address feature requirements, and engage stakeholders right from the project's initiation. 


Since its inception, over 65,000 companies worldwide have embraced Jira for its adaptability in accommodating various project types and its ability to seamlessly integrate with thousands of apps and systems.




  1. Microsoft Teams

Seamlessly integrated within the Microsoft ecosystem, Teams is another holistic collaboration tool that combines video conferencing capabilities with chat functionalities and document collaboration. Its seamless integration with other Microsoft tools facilitates easy access to files and documents within a familiar interface, enhancing productivity and teamwork.


As of 2023, Microsoft Teams had 280 million daily active users and 25% of its users identified productivity as the most utilized category within Microsoft Teams. 


Additionally, based on the 2023 Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams, organizations gain a strong, pre-built platform for communication, collaboration, and engagement. This enables employees to stay connected and productive whether they're working remotely or in the office.


  1. GitHub

GitHub is more than just a code repository, it also facilitates collaboration through its communication features such as issues, pull requests, and project boards. It acts as a centralized platform for code review discussions, bug tracking, and version control, enabling seamless communication during code iterations.


With 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies using GitHub, more companies are expected to invest in open-source projects in the future.


  1. Zoom

Zoom has emerged as a trailblazer during the significant shift towards remote work. It has established itself as the standard platform for online education, virtual conferences, distant meetings, and more thanks to its user-friendly design, high-quality video and audio capabilities, and flexible features. 

While 89% of customers use Zoom for business meetings, 86% of organizations also use video conferencing platforms like Zoom to interview candidates. In 2020 alone, Zoom’s quarterly revenue has grown by almost 600%.




Best Practices for Effective Team Communication in Augmented Tech Teams


Handling the complexities of efficient team communication in augmented tech teams requires multifaceted strategies that go beyond the norm. Here are some of the best practices that help promote remote team synergy for effective communication and collaboration between the internal development team and augmented tech teams:



Crafting Comprehensive Onboarding for Remote Team Integration

 

In addition to streamlining the integration of external remote team members, efficient onboarding offers major advantages for remote team synergy.


A customized onboarding plan helps cater to the unique project requirements and skills of the augmented team member. This way, your organization can provide them with a comprehensive orientation, a clear project roadmap, and hands-on training. 



Optimizing Response Times for Seamless Augmented Team Interaction


In distributed remote tech teams, adapting to multiple time zones is a norm. When your internal team and the augmented staff operate across different time zones, establishing overlapping working hours becomes vital. This ensures synchronized availability and reasonable response times, fostering smoother collaboration and communication among team members.


Staying responsive during common hours keeps work flowing without the need for all members to be always available.



Selecting Effective Communication and Collaboration Solutions


To lead a remote tech team successfully, prioritizing effective communication and collaboration for heightened productivity is indeed critical.


One of the best practices for CTOs is establishing clear communication channels between your members. Select and establish the appropriate real-time messaging tools, video conferencing platforms, and project management systems for your team. 



Bridging Cultural Diversity in Remote Teams


Navigating cultural diversity in remote teams requires deliberate effort and a commitment to creating an inclusive environment. 


Promote clear communication in remote teams by encouraging simple language and urging members to seek clarification when necessary. Through this, you can foster an environment of mutual respect and open-mindedness. Remote members can also share their cultural backgrounds in virtual meetings for cultural awareness of different traditions and communication styles within the team.


Empowering Collaboration: Dev Partners' Approach


As the market for team augmentation services continues to surge, the need for a reliable partner becomes crucial for organizational growth.


At Dev Partners, we understand the nuanced demands of team augmentation, offering tailored solutions in both staff augmentation and outstaffing. Our approach aligns with diverse project needs and durations, ensuring seamless integration with your core team.


To address communication challenges in augmented tech teams, we encourage the use of advanced collaboration tools like Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, and Zoom. Additionally, we advocate for effective practices to foster remote team synergy, as highlighted earlier.


Ready to unlock enhanced collaboration and drive transformative outcomes with us? 

Embrace a new era of collaboration today. Let's start the conversation. 


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