• The CTO:s advice when managing developers at a distance: ”An onsite project manager is important”

    Long distance leadership means increased demands on leaders – who need be even more clear, communicative and good at planning.

    But even a skilled leader needs support of an onsite project manager that work side by side with the team of developers. Henrik Melchander, CTO at Indpro, have led distributed teams for six years. His advice when working with global IT outsourcing is to get support by an onsite project manager.

    – If you have a Swedish project manager onsite with the team of developers, you may not need a local project manager. But if the Swedish project manager is located in Sweden, it’s important that you also have a local project manager leading the team onsite.

    When starting a new project, Henrik recommends the use of both a Swedish and a local project manager. The Swedish project manager is responsible for establishing a good communication and co-operation process for the client and the team. The local project manager ensures that the daily work is going smoothly, and is available to answer questions from the developers.

    When the project has been up and running for a while, and the client and the team have gotten to know each other, the need for a Swedish project manager will decrease. At this point, the local project manager can take over responsibility for the project.

    Right information important

    A project manager is not only responsible for leading the developers. It’s equally important that the project manager gets enough information from the client, so that the team can work efficiently.

    – For the team to build what the client requires, they need to be able to go through the details and plan the work properly, says Henrik Melchander.

    For the client, more thorough planning is of course also more demanding.

    – But it’s also an advantage – it forces the client to think things through properly, and analyze their demands and expectations, instead of keeping information implicit which the team may miss, Henrik says.

  • Watch video of how it works here